February 2, 2021
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Tuesday that it cleared the way for the flight of SpaceX Starship SN9, saying it complies with all safety and related federal regulations.
Prior to the Starship SN8 test launch in December, SpaceX sought a waiver to exceed the maximum public risk allowed by federal safety regulations.
After the FAA denied the request, SpaceX proceeded with the flight. The FAA required SpaceX to conduct an investigation of the incident after the flight and all testing that could affect public safety at the Boca Chica, Texas, launch site was suspended until the investigation was completed.
The FAA said it had approved the company’s corrective actions to protect public safety late Monday and the corrective actions arising from the SN8 incident are incorporated into the SN9 launch license.
Last week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure. Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson)