SpaceX is continuing its “Spaceship” spacecraft test and development program. As of this afternoon, it has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to pick up from the launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. Three test flights down. The approval of the previous launch test was one-off, but the FAA said in a statement that it is approving these in batches because “SpaceX has made very few changes to launch tools and relies on FAA’s approved method to calculate the public’s risk.”
SpaceX plans to launch the SN15 test “interplanetary spacecraft” as early as this week, provided that FAA inspectors will be present at the Boca Chica facility during the launch. The regulator said it has dispatched an inspector who is expected to arrive today, which may pave the way for possible launch attempts in the next few days.
The last SpaceX test flight from Boca Chica was the launch of SN1
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated in its statement on the authorization of the next three attempts that the investigation into the SN11 incident and its unfortunate outcome is still ongoing, but added that even so, the agency has determined Any public safety issues related to the incident have been alleviated.
The approved licenses for the three aircraft include SN16 and SN17 and SN15 flights, but the FAA pointed out that after the first flight, the next two flights may require additional “corrective measures” before the actual takeoff in case it happens Any new “unfortunate accidents” follow the release of SN15.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sometimes criticizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for not being flexible enough or responsive to the rapid iterations and testing speeds SpaceX pursues in the development of Starship. On the other hand, members of Congress believe that the FAA may not be thorough enough in its independent investigation of the early “starship” test accidents. The administration believes that so far, there has been no final sign of any final impact on public safety, indicating the successful implementation of the plan.