Starship launches for the first time on its Super Heavy booster from Texas on April 20, 2023.
SpaceX is pushing hard to launch the second spaceflight of its Starship rocket this week.
CEO Elon Musk claimed the company will receive its federal launch license in the coming days, the final hurdle before a second attempt. The company has been waiting for the completion of a federal environmental review led by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“Was just informed that approval to launch should happen in time for a Friday launch,” Musk said in a social media post on Monday evening.
Musk did not specify who informed him of the impending regulatory approval, and SpaceX did not respond to CNBC’s request for clarification.
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An FAA spokesperson did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment. A request for comment into the FWS’ Texas office returned an automatic reply indicating at least some representatives for the office are at a staff retreat through Thursday.
SpaceX needs a launch license from the FAA in order to make its second attempt at flying Starship to space. The company’s first attempt in April successfully achieved multiple milestones for a rocket of unprecedented size and power, but ultimately exploded a few minutes into the flight and left severe damage to infrastructure on the ground, triggering a regulatory review.
The FAA on Oct. 31 announced that it completed the safety review – which focuses on protecting the public and property – of SpaceX’s Starship license. At the time the environmental review with FWS was ongoing.
SpaceX announced last week that it was preparing to launch the second flight of the nearly 400-foot-tall rocket “as early as November 17” but acknowledged that target date was “pending final regulatory approval.”