FAA delays decision on SpaceX Starship environmental assessment

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has once again postponed the final environmental decision of the SpaceX Starship/Heavy Weight rocket program launch at Boca Chica Launch Site in Texas until June 13, 2022.  

The final environmental assessment previously was planned to be released on May 31, 2022. However, the FAA said that SpaceX had made some changes to its application that had to be further analyzed by the agency. 

The review, called the Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA), is measuring the environmental impact of SpaceX launch site in Texas, where the company tests Starship rockets. SpaceX cannot launch its Starship rocket until the US aviation regulator completes the environmental assessment. 

The Starship rocket is intended to carry the second-generation Starlink satellites, replacing the Falcon 9, which was initially expected to perform the task. Once launched, Starship will become the world’s largest and first fully reusable space launch system. 

After a series of test launches with explosive consequences, SpaceX achieved the first soft-landing of the Starship second stage in May 2021.  


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