SpaceX closes in on launch of giant rocket ship after FAA review

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX on Monday cleared a major hurdle in its plan to launch a gargantuan, futuristic rocket ship into orbit from Texas.

The Federal Aviation Administration has completed an environmental review of Elon Musk’s Starship base. The agency saw no significant environmental concerns but calls for more than 75 actions to reduce the impact on the region.

There is no guarantee that a launch license will be issued as the FAA says other factors such as safety and financial responsibility requirements must be met at the Boca Chica site.

Following the latest news, SpaceX tweeted, “One step closer to Starship’s first orbital flight test.”

At almost 120 meters, Starship is the most powerful rocket ever built and is designed to take people to the Moon and Mars. NASA intends to use it for the moon landing of space agency astronauts, which is planned for no earlier than 2025.

While SpaceX has rocketed Starship’s spherical upper stage several miles (10 kilometers) into the air over the past year – resulting in some spectacular explosions – it has yet to be flown on a Super Heavy Booster.


Some residents had spoken out against spacecraft launches and landings, citing not only the noise and closed roads, but also debris raining down from failed flights. As part of the FAA report, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service insisted on additional action, but found operations were unlikely to endanger endangered species or their habitat.

The site is on the southernmost tip of Texas, about 1,000 miles west of Cape Canaveral, where SpaceX launches astronauts and supplies the International Space Station for NASA.


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Sarah Y. Kim

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