The United States Federal Aviation Administration has again postponed its decision on the environmental assessment of SpaceX’s plan to launch its Starship rocket from the company’s base in Texas.
The Federal Aviation Administration has postponed its environmental review of SpaceX’s Starship rocket program in Texas for the fourth time, pushing the launch date decision to the end of May.
The FAA was scheduled to release its final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) on Friday for SpaceX’s operations near Boca Chica. However, the agency said it was postponing this release to May 31. ” The FAA is finalizing the review of the final PEA, including responding to comments and ensuring consistency with SpaceX’s clearance request says a SpaceX Boca Chica fact sheet on the FAA’s website.
SpaceX is said to be behind several changes in its application that would have caused the FAA to delay the launch. ” SpaceX has made multiple changes to its application that require additional FAA analysis the agency said in a press release. While SpaceX originally targeted January 2022 for the first orbital flight of its Starship rocket, in the end, this should not take off before at least the second half of the year.
This postponement could delay the launch of the first man to Mars
While SpaceX wanted to launch its rocket to Mars in 2024, it would seem that this date is now too optimistic. This delay will also impact the colonization of the red planet, which Elon Musk planned for the following years.
As a reminder, just like the Earth, Mars is a planet in motion. It is therefore not always at the same distance from the Earth. Every 26 months, the red planet is at its closest point to our planet, about 55 million kilometers away. Space agencies must therefore not miss this launch window to send astronauts, otherwise the journey would be far too long.
Delaying the first Starship tests could therefore cause us to miss such a launch window., thus delaying the mission by two years. If the delays continue, the test flight could be moved to Florida. SpaceX took precautions and built a second Starship launch tower at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After launching, SpaceX plans to land the rocket booster in the giant robotic arms of its launch tower.