FAA Gives Environmental Green Light for SpaceX Starship Flight Test

The Federal Aviation Administration has released its conclusion on the environmental impact of SpaceX’s first Starship orbital flight.

The ruling summary explains a Starship launch “would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment.”

The decision reads as follows (via @NASASpaceflight):

After reviewing and analyzing all available data and information on existing conditions and potential impacts, as well as the mitigation identified in the PEA which SpaceX must implement, the FAA has determined the Proposed Action would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Therefore, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required, and the FAA is issuing this Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FAA has made this determination in accordance with applicable environmental laws and FAA regulations. The PEA is incorporated by reference into this Mitigated FONSI.

The next steps would be for SpaceX to gain a launch license, while its Starship undergoes test static fires.

The FAA says SpaceX will need to still take action on 75 requirements to lower environmental impacts, before any launch license will be approved.

The reusable Starship rocket, powered by SpaceX’s Super Heavy booster is expected to send cargo and humans to Mars.

The environmental decision from the FAA comes after numerous delays, and brings SpaceX one step closer to achieving an orbital test flight of Starship.

SpaceX tweeted a reaction to the news just now:

…developing, more to follow