After receiving final clearance from federal regulators, SpaceX plans to conduct another big rocket test flight on Friday.
Minutes after taking off from South Texas in April, Starship’s first launch failed in an explosion.
The licence was granted by the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday, stating that SpaceX had satisfied all safety, environmental, and other requirements for another flight. Elon Musk’s rocket business declared that it planned to launch on Friday morning.
SpaceX made dozens of upgrades to the almost 400-foot (121-meter) rocket and the launch pad, which ended up with a big crater beneath it, after the self-destruct system blew up the rocket over the Gulf of Mexico.
NASA has awarded SpaceX a $3 billion contract to use the spacecraft to put humans on the moon as early as 2025.
The FAA finished its safety review of the planned Starship launch a month ago. To complete its environmental study, it took longer than expected. The rocket’s 33 main engines erupted at liftoff, severely damaging the pad, but no one was hurt in the first attempt.
Subsequent reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated that items such as steel sheets and pieces of concrete were flung thousands of feet (hundreds of metres) away from the pad. Additionally, it stated that material was propelled several miles (up to 10 kilometres) out in a plume of ground-up concrete.
Because they believed the FAA had not given enough thought to the environmental effects of the Starship programme at Boca Chica Beach, environmental and wildlife organisations launched a lawsuit against the agency.
The test flight is scheduled to take one and a half hours, although it won’t complete an orbit of the Earth. The spacecraft would travel eastward, crossing the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic seas before making its landing close to Hawaii. There won’t be anything valuable on board.
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