The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already cleared Starship serial quantity 10 (SN10) for flight, chopping quick any potential licensing drama going through SpaceX’s newest high-altitude Starship launch efforts.
Lower than three weeks in the past, Starship serial quantity 9 (SN9) lifted off from SpaceX’s South Texas launch amenities after a tedious week or so of opaque licensing ‘points’ solely vaguely touched upon by the FAA. The regulatory physique by no means truly provided a proof for why it publicly dragged SpaceX by way of the coals in January and February for purported “launch license violations” throughout Starship SN8’s December eighth launch debut, nor why the FAA solely introduced up these claimed points greater than a month after the actual fact.
Finally, the likeliest rationalization of its extremely inconsistent and missing response is that the FAA itself – much less so SpaceX – made a mistake someplace alongside the traces of licensing SN8 for flight and solely found the error nicely after the launch was concluded. Deliberately or not, the company then did every little thing it might to shovel the blame onto SpaceX, by no means offering sufficient element for outsiders to really decide the reason for the scuffle. If SpaceX had clearly been within the flawed, nothing would have prevented the FAA from providing the general public a real rationalization or publishing the incontrovertible proof that might inevitably observe such an intentional, calculated launch license violation.
After all, the FAA by no means did launch that unequivocal knowledge or provide these clear solutions. Fortunately, although, Starship SN9 was finally cleared for flight. Now, lower than a month later, Starship SN10 has additionally been cleared for flight after the FAA “granted SpaceX a launch modification for Starship SN10.” It’s unclear why SpaceX is selecting – or being compelled – to switch their present blanket Starship launch license between three just about similar launches, however regardless, SN10 is now the primary Starship to obtain FAA permission for a high-altitude launch nicely the SpaceX itself has cleared the automobile for flight.
As of publishing, SpaceX is in the course of a 9am to 6pm CST (UTC-6) Monday window put aside for Starship SN10’s first moist gown rehearsal (WDR) and Raptor engine static hearth try. Sheriffs have had the one entry street closed for hours however SpaceX has but to clear the launch pad. If work continues on the pad and rocket, Starship SN10’s most necessary preflight acceptance check will almost definitely slip to an similar window on Tuesday or Wednesday.
SpaceX has already filed momentary flight restrictions (TFRs) with the FAA for attainable SN10 launch makes an attempt on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, suggesting that the corporate hopes to show Starship round for flight as few as 24-72 hours after a profitable static hearth. Keep tuned for updates as SpaceX works to conduct its third Starship launch earlier than the month is out.