WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Aviation Administration again delayed the release of its environmental review of a SpaceX facility in Texas that one day could launch astronauts to the moon and eventually beyond.
The FAA is working with local and federal agencies to determine the impacts of launches on the area around Boca Chica, Texas, but recent modifications to SpaceX’s submission caused the additional delay.
It is at least the fourth time the agency has postponed a release of the environmental review, which is now expected to publish around May 31.
Even after the environmental review is complete, it’s not a guarantee that the government will issue a launch license to SpaceX’s Starship program.
SpaceX needs a license from the FAA to conduct further tests and begin operational launches.
In May 2021, the company successfully completed a test launch of a prototype known as SN15.
The rocket flew about 6 miles above the Lone Star State before landing back at the launch site.
The spacecraft is designed to carry large amounts of cargo and conduct deep space exploration.
In February, CEO Elon Musk stated if the FAA required additional work on the environmental impacts, he would examine launching the rocket from the Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX has not publicly commented if the latest delays will impact the company’s goal of conducting a full orbital test flight by the end of the year.