The US Federal Aviation Administration aims to wrap up its review in October of corrective actions Elon Musk’s SpaceX has taken following its Starship explosion, the agency’s acting administrator said on Wednesday.
(Bloomberg) — The US Federal Aviation Administration aims to wrap up its review in October of corrective actions Elon Musk’s SpaceX has taken following its Starship explosion, the agency’s acting administrator said on Wednesday.
The agency can’t issue a license for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to resume test flights of its colossal rocket until its review is done, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg told reporters on the sidelines of an aerospace summit in Washington.
“We’re optimistic sometime next month,” Trottenberg said. “Next month is for our part to be done. We’re optimistic we’ll be through the checklist of items on the commercial space side from FAA at the end of next month.”
SpaceX must go through an environmental review process at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Trottenberg said she didn’t have an estimate of how long that would take.
The agency has 190 days to wrap its review, she said. “I don’t think it’ll take them that long. I don’t want to speak for them. That’s their piece of it.”
Trottenberg’s comments come after the agency grounded the rocket in the wake of the company’s explosive first test flight on April 20. The FAA has overseen a mishap investigation. The launch damaged SpaceX’s launchpad and spread debris and pulverized concrete across hundreds of acres of terrain.
SpaceX declined to comment.
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