The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced its environmental review of SpaceX Starship has been delayed by at least another month, ending any hope of a March orbital test flight.
The latest timeline from the FAA said their review was supposed to be completed by February 28 2022, giving hope for a possible orbital launch in March.
That is not going to happen now. On Monday the FAA has announced the review won’t be released until at least March 28, 2022.
According to a posting on the FAA website, the delay is to allow for additional time to review comments and consult with other agencies.
The FAA intended to release the Final PEA on February 28, 2022. The FAA now plans to release the Final PEA on March 28, 2022 to account for further comment review and ongoing interagency consultations. A notice will be sent to individuals and organizations on the project distribution list when the Final PEA is available.
It was less than one week ago during the Starship update presentation that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk first hinted the FAA approval could be delayed.
The only good news is Musk also said last week that Starship will be ready to launch at around the same time approval is granted, so the launch could happen in early April.
There is also the chance that approval is not granted. If that happens, Musk said they would move the launch site to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a move that would delayan orbital flight by more than six months.