The Federal Aviation Administration delays SpaceX's Starship SN9 launch

The Federal Aviation Administration delays SpaceX's Starship SN9 launch

Featured Image Source: Adrian Aguilar @SpXAdrian via Twitter 

Today, January 28, SpaceX planned to launch the Starship Serial Number 9 (SN9) test vehicle at the South Texas facility located in Boca Chica Beach along the Gulf of Mexico. SpaceX teams were ready to launch SN9 this afternoon but the mission was delayed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA coordinates air traffic and issues Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) for pilots to not fly over a particular area during spaceflight operations. The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk shared early this week the company had been waiting for FAA to approve the Starship launch at Boca Chica, and he was hoping to receive approval today. SpaceX teams prepared the stainless-steel Starship SN9 vehicle at the launch pad and even initiated propellant loading for a flight test. Then, NASASpaceflight shared an FAA notice stating –“Rocket launch from Boca Chica Texas has been scrubbed […]”. To which Musk responded, “Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure. Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars,” he wrote via Twitter.


SpaceX proceeded to load the Starship SN9 vehicle with propellant at the launch pad hoping that FAA would give them a green light to fly 10-kilometers (km) above Boca Chica’s sandy beach. According to ArsTechnica’s space reporter Eric Berger, Musk called FAA representatives to obtain permission to launch Starship SN9 earlier today. –“Elon Musk is apparently working the phones with the FAA right now to try and secure approval for the 10km attempt. I have no idea what happens next, but they're preparing to load propellant into Starship SN9,” Berger shared via Twitter.



SpaceX just completed a Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) today because the FAA did not approve a launch, the Administration stated that the next opportunity to obtain approval could be Friday, January 29. Cameron County’s Boca Chica road closure announcements suggest SpaceX could attempt to launch Starship SN9 tomorrow sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central Time -- If FAA approves [date is subject to change]. SpaceX is working hard to have a space-ready Starship launch vehicle by 2023. The company’s ultimate mission is to make life multiplanetary. Musk envisions a fleet of at least 1,000 Starships embarking on a voyage to colonize the Red Planet before the year 2050. “It appears that consciousness is a very rare and precious thing and we should take whatever steps we can to preserve the light of consciousness,” he says. “Starship is the key to making life multiplanetary and protecting the light of consciousness.” You can watch SpaceX operations Live 24/7 in the video below, courtesy of LabPadre via YouTube.

SpaceX South Texas Starship Launch Site Live 24/7


Featured Image Source: Adrian Aguilar @SpXAdrian via Twitter 


About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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