SpaceX is been working on various prototypes of its Starship spacecraft, and some have ended in spectacular failure. However, SpaceX has worked most of the bugs out of Starship and has announced that its first orbital test flight could happen in November. Word of the potential orbital test flight came from CEO Elon Musk.
Musk tweeted on October 22 if all went well, the first orbital flight attempt could happen in November. However, Musk did add a caveat noting that having a flight in November did depend on regulatory approval. Currently, SpaceX’s orbital test flight is pending with the FAA. Before the flight can happen, SpaceX has to be granted an FAA launch license for orbital flights.
One portion of the review by the FAA that is still undecided this time is the environmental review concerning SpaceX’s launch facility near the Texas coast. The FAA completed its draft version of the review and opened it up for public comment in mid-September. A portion of the public comment period ended on October 18, but comments by mail and email are still open through November 1.
The launch facility is near a town called Boca Chica in South Texas. Some comments have reportedly voiced support for SpaceX and its operations in the area, while others have expressed concerns about the environment resulting from launches. The orbital flight test is critical for SpaceX and the future use of Starship by NASA for its moon missions.
It would seem that Elon Musk is confident SpaceX will be granted its launch license. However, Musk has a history of overpromising, only to change timelines down the road. It remains to be seen if SpaceX can complete its orbital flig