SpaceX performed a static-fire test of a Starship vehicle Oct. 21 as debate continues about an environmental assessment of the company’s proposed launch operations in Texas.
A draft environmental assessment released by the Federal Aviation Administration suggests that SpaceX will be able to proceed with orbital Starship launches from Texas, but with a number of mitigations required.
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.
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.
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.
NASA has selected SpaceX as the sole company to win a contract to develop and demonstrate a crewed lunar lander, while keeping the door open for others to compete for future missions.
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.
Private spaceflight companies can help to lead the way in advancing U.S. national security and exploration goals, provided they don’t get their heads stuck above the clouds and undermine the gains they’ve brought to the industry.
SpaceX launched a prototype of its Starship next-generation vehicle March 3, landing it safely only to have the vehicle explode minutes later.
Steve Blank’s op-ed of Feb. 5, “The FAA and SpaceX,” demands an informed rebuttal. It lacks grounding in the history and nature of private space activity regulation and he erroneously conflates that mission with the FAA's primary task of regulating the safest transportation system in human history.
At first glance the FAA/SpaceX dust-up over Starship might look like a rich entrepreneur breaking the rules versus a federal agency trying to keep the public safe. It's actually an example of a government organization — the FAA — unable to distinguish between innovation and execution.
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.