FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
The Federal Aviation Administration will not allow Virgin Galactic to resume flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane until it completes an investigation into a problem on the vehicle’s previous flight in July.
Blue Origin will conduct its next New Shepard suborbital mission Aug. 25 with a set of research payloads, but not people, on board on the vehicle’s first flight under a revised launch license.
The unstoppable force of SpaceX’s recent surge in development of its Starship vehicle for its first orbital flight is in danger of colliding with an immovable object: an ongoing environment review that has no clear end date.
The FAA has revised its criteria for awarding astronaut wings to those flying on commercial spacecraft, making the requirements stricter while including a significant loophole.
The FAA has started to use a new tool intended to better integrate commercial launches and reentries into the National Airspace System, reducing the disruptions those events have on aviation.
A SpaceX launch scrubbed in the final seconds of its countdown when an aircraft violated restricted airspace June 29 has aligned both the launch industry and the airline industry in their criticism of the Federal Aviation Administration.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the company is “shooting for July” for the first orbital launch of the company’s Starship vehicle despite lacking the regulatory approvals needed for such a launch.
The FAA has granted permission to Virgin Galactic to fly customers, and not just employees, on its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, a move that could allow the company’s founder to fly to the edge of space soon.
A House aviation subcommittee hearing on commercial space transportation June 16 plowed familiar ground, revisiting a wide range of issues that have yet to be resolved.
SpaceX has disclosed details for the first orbital test flight of its next-generation Starship launch system, but the company is still far short of the regulatory approvals needed for the mission.
As SpaceX gears up for another test flight of a Starship prototype, the Federal Aviation Administration is facing new scrutiny from Congress for how it handled SpaceX’s violation of its launch license on an earlier test flight.
Proponents of a proposed Georgia launch site remain optimistic they will win approval from the Federal Aviation Administration despite another delay in the environmental review process.
As launch activity grows on the Eastern Range in Florida, companies and government agencies are looking at ways to add capacity, largely through incremental improvements.
The FAA said that SpaceX violated the conditions of a launch license for its Starship vehicle during a launch in December, prompting an investigation that delayed tests of another vehicle.