SpaceX gets FAA approval for SN9 high-altitude test scheduled for later today

SpaceX SN9 test

After a back-and-forth battle with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), SpaceX has finally received approval for the next test-flight of its Starship prototype SN9.

Earlier this morning the FAA tweeted the good news as part of its daily advisories, saying the test is on target for a Tuesday launch.

The handful of residents that still live in Boca Chica were also asked to evacuate for the upcoming test.

While everything is pointing towards the test flight being a go, this isn’t the first time SpaceX has asked residents to evacuate. Last week’s launch was scrubbed at the last minute as SpaceX did not have the necessary permits from the FAA for the test flight.

SpaceX plans to send SN9 to an altitude to 10km (32,000ft), before performing a belly-flop maneuver to turn the Starship horizontal as it falls back to the ground. Then seconds before reaching the ground, the Raptor engines will reignited to flip the rocket back to vertical and attempt to land in an upright position.

A similar test was conducted in December with SN8. Despite being unable to stick the landing and exploding on impact, the Starship prototype test flight was considered extremely successful.

SpaceX will livestream the launch on their website here.

Here is a recap of the December test flight.