Next SpaceX Starship launch from Texas targeting no earlier than late August, mariner warnings show

SpaceX submitted its final mishap investigation report from the April launch and explosion to the Federal Aviation Administration.

SpaceX could be nearing another launch attempt for the Starship spaceship and Super Heavy booster from South Texas as soon as the end of August, U.S. Coast Guard marine warnings indicate. 

Mariner hazard warnings show SpaceX is targeting no earlier than Aug. 31 to launch Starship from Boca Chica, home to SpaceX's Starbase facility on the east coast of Texas located near the beaches of South Padre Island

"On August 31, 2023, mariners operating offshore in waters east of Brownsville, Texas, are advised of rocket launching activities and associated hazardous areas which may impact navigation interests," the USGS local notice to mariners issued Wednesday reads. "Navigational hazards from rocket launching activity may include free-falling debris and/or descending vehicles or vehicle components, under various means of control. Mariners should avoid all waters within rocket flight trajectories originating from launch sites in the vicinity of Boca Chica Beach and Brownsville, Texas."

SpaceX has yet to announce a new test flight date. Last week, SpaceX completed a static fire test of the Super Heavy booster.


"Preparing for next Starship flight," SpaceX founder Elon Musk wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Aug. 4. 

"This time, I think we have ~50% probability of reaching orbital velocity; however, even getting to stage separation would be a win," Musk continued. 

Regulatory factors could still push the next launch into late Fall.  

The USGS mariner warnings went out after SpaceX submitted its final mishap investigation report from the April launch and explosion to the Federal Aviation Administration. SpaceX launched Starship and the Super Heavy booster for the first time on April 20. After clearing the launch tower and moving over the Gulf of Mexico, Starship exploded before separation. 

"When a final mishap report is approved, it will identify the corrective actions SpaceX must make. Separately, SpaceX must modify its license to incorporate those actions before receiving authorization to launch again," the FAA said in a statement.

The FAA said it's now reviewing that report and did not provide a timeline for when its review would be complete. 

NASA counting on Starship to carry astronauts to the Moon

Starship is a key part of NASA's Artemis Moon program. The space agency awarded SpaceX the first lunar human landing system contract and a second Artemis human landing system contract to Blue Origin. Starship will carry the first human to the Moon's surface in over 50 years during the Artemis III mission slated for late 2025. 

First, the vehicle needs to be tested and tested again.

During an Aug. 8 press event at Kennedy Space Center in Florida along with the Artemis II astronauts, NASA officials said they are eager to see SpaceX complete Starship testing. 


Jim Free, NASA associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said space agency officials recently visited SpaceX's Starbase facility to get information on when the vehicle could be ready.

"They need to launch multiple times, not just for us but for them. And then they need to launch multiple times for us. So we really want to see them find the success in their launches, including the next one," Free said.

Free said the timeline is essential for all the commercial companies NASA works with on Artemis. Axiom Space is developing spacesuits for lunar exploration, and some interfaces will need to work together, along with Orion spacecraft systems.