SpaceX has been faced with a series of delays in receiving environmental approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct their first Starship orbital test flight from their launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
The approval was originally supposed to arrive in 2021, but after the most recent delay announced last week it is now not expected to come until at May 31, 2022.
While speaking at an engineering conference on Thursday, SpaceX president Gwynn Shotwell seems to think there will be no more delays, saying she expects the test flight will take place in June or July. (via Bloomberg)
With the long delays, there was the possibility that SpaceX might move the launch to Florida, but Shotwell confirmed the test flight will still launch from Texas.
The delay is not solely the result of the FAAs tardiness. SpaceX has also been developing and building their Raptor 2 engines that will power Starship on its maiden orbital flight.
SpaceX first started building the Raptor 2 engines in December 2021, which cost half as much as its predecessor, but is more than twice as powerful.