The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given SpaceX permission to conduct an orbital demo and test of the Starship missile in the first quarter of 2022, but it will still need to pass an FAA environmental review before the missile can leave Earth.
According to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, the FCC states that the orbital launch can occur at any time between December 20, 2021 and March 1, 2022, from SpaceX’s test facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
However, the Musk-led company still needs to wait for the FAA to complete its environmental assessment before the Starship can leave Earth, and the FAA announced in November that it would complete the review on December 31, which means SpaceX has All necessary regulatory approvals to send its massive rocket into space.
Speaking during an online meeting held by the US government’s National Academies, Musk said the first orbital launch of the Starship, which he described as a very large vehicle that is making very rapid progress, will occur in January or possibly February 2022 and could be followed by 12 or more launches during the remainder from next year.
“There are a lot of risks associated with this first launch,” Musk added, “so I wouldn’t say it’s likely to be successful, but I think we’ll make a lot of progress.”
The Starship program aims to develop vehicles for transplanetary travel for goods and humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond, and SpaceX plans to conduct several test launches over the next few years, all of which require a vehicle operator permit or license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
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