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FAA delays Starship approval again

Death by a thousand cuts: The FAA today announced that it is once again delaying the release of the final version of its environmental reassessment of SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility, the PEA, that will allow Starship orbital launches to occur there.

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.

Though the draft PEA had approved SpaceX future Starship operations at Boca Chica, all signs continue to point to heavy resistance to making that approval official both within the Biden administration as well as those other “interagency consultations.”

I predict that the FAA will delay again, and it will delay repeatedly month by month as agencies like Fish & Wildlife and NOAA refuse to go along. The only one who could break this deadlock would be President Biden, and the only chance he or any of the people running his administration will do so is if they decide to reject the FAA’s reassessment to instead demand a new and full environmental impact statement, which would likely take years to complete.

Texas politicians might want to wake up. If SpaceX fails to get this approval it will shift its Starship operations almost entirely to Florida. I must also add that politicians across the nation should wake up as well, because if the Biden administration blocks SpaceX, the many year delay for the launch of Starship will likely impact many many businesses nationwide. It will also negatively impact NASA’s effort to land humans on the Moon this decade.

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11 comments

  • Ray Van Dune

    Biden holds a meeting on electric vehicles, and doesn’t invite the world leader in EVs to attend. Then he lets his government slow down the world leader in rocketry, so the Chinese can try to bear us back to the moon!

    .I heard that elements of Joe’s cabinet want help from Tesla now. I hope Elon tells them he has to review that decision until March 28.

  • Col Beausabre

    Biden and his lackeys want to punish Texas for being Texas, that’s the bottom line. And Musk is a traitor for leaving Californication and must be stopped!

  • One of the Kyles

    Its not just rocket companies that are getting screwed on environmental assessments. Small towns and Cities are as well.

    I am a civil engineer, and my company does mostly municipal projects, road, sewer, etc. Our main clients are small towns in the State of Washington. For our road projects, if the funding source is federal and the project stormwater discharges to a listed fish barring waters, then if the project adds 1 square foot or more of New Pollution Generating Impervious Surfaces, i.e. hard surface where an automobile can drive over it, then we need an 1.5 – 2 year environmental assessment.

    Our state has some of the strictest stormwater requirements in the country which the project will be complying with, I believe our stormwater mitigation is way overkill, large detention and treatment ponds, filter vaults, etc, but that doesnt matter to the Feds. They claim that the current methods of stormwater mitigation are not sufficient, too many fishes are dying. So we cannot use current methods. The kicker is that the Feds do NOT offer any solutions. So we cannot use the State’s department of ecology, but we cannot use the Fed’s either. So how do we get our federal permits? How do we design a stormwater facility for a roadway? Well we need a multi-year environmental assessment. Hopefully there is no rush on widening those roads. All that federal infrastructure money but you cannot build any roads with it.

    The Feds do have somewhat of a point, we do all these stormwater mitigation and the fish are still dying off, my theory is that its something in the tires thats killing them and this should be studied, but to BAN all progress until a solution is discovered is ludicrous. All of this started around 2021, and guess who took over during this time.

  • Captain Emeritus

    “Dat’s a nice rocket youse have there,
    “Be a shame, sometin’ should happen to it”

    “10% to the big guy, an dis will a go away”

  • Milt

    The critical flaw in everyone’s thinking is assuming that the Biden Administration actually “wants” to have a successful American manned space program, and because of this they will see reason and let SpaceX help this country achieve this. In practice, nothing could be further from the truth, and the The Powers That Be in Washington no more want SpaceX — and this country — to succeed in the opening up of the space frontier than Justin Trudeau wants Canadian citizens to have freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble on the streets of Ottawa.

    Please keep in mind that for our would-be overseers in Washington, the real “purpose” of the Artemis / SLS program is to showcase inclusion and diversity, and not to open up the moon and the Solar System to human use. (By arrangement with their highly paid agents in the US Government, Silicone Valley, Wall Street, and the legacy media — see Peter Schweizer’s book, Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win for the relevant details — the Chinese comrades have been given the go-ahead to accomplish this important task in ways that are “safe” for repressive governments. Allow free people in space? God, no. Not on *our* watch!)

    Granted, there may indeed be some areas of residual support for a successful American manned space program even within the Biden
    Administration — and likewise within NASA — but as this post suggests, they do not seem to have the clout to overcome the efforts of the FAA and other assisting agencies to sandbag it.

    Finally, while the governor of Texas sometimes talks a good game and even occasionally *says* unkind things about the Biden Administration, when push comes to shove, he does not sign legislation (Is there a Brandon, Texas?) or take any significant actions that would actually serve to thwart the scorched earth, America Last agenda of Official Washington. If Mr. Musk is to get any relief at all, he will either have to bide his time until a new Congress is seated after this year’s midterm elections or move his operations to the Free State of Florida where the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law still more or less obtain.

  • James Street

    NASA Officials Reportedly Horrified That SpaceX’s Starship May Succeed
    “If Elon Musk is right, SpaceX is poised to become the most successful spaceflight organization ever, public or private — and its competitors, including NASA, are scared”
    https://futurism.com/nasa-horrified-spacex/amp

    (warning for language)

  • Max

    Milt said;
    “— see Peter Schweizer’s book, Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win for the relevant details — the Chinese comrades have been given the go-ahead to accomplish this important task in ways that are “safe” for repressive governments”

    Last summer, high Chinese Communist Party intellectual Professor Ping Chen, senior Fudan University professor of economics, gloated in a Youtube that China has won “the biological war.”

    Chen said:

    “In 2020, China won the trade war, science & technology war, and especially the biological war….After this trade war and biological warfare, the US was beaten back to its original shape.”

    Whatever the long-term effects are of the mRNA technology, they won’t be hitting China.

    https://greatmountainpublishing.com/2022/02/08/communist-china-does-not-use-the-dangerous-experimental-mrna-vaccines-that-are-mandated-in-the-u-s-and-other-non-communist-countries/

  • Col Beausabre

    Don’t forget to wish Hillary Clinton happy Presidents’ Day on February 21 !

  • Questioner

    The Angry Astronaut: “FAA DELAYS STARSHIP AGAIN!! What was Elon Musk REALLY saying at the Starship Presentation?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ducGlMQHTZo

    “There’s no way that Elon was unaware of the FAA delay a few days ago. So, what was he REALLY saying about the future of Starship? Is Starbase in trouble?”

  • Philip Wilson

    Simple relatively low cost solution. Put Hunter Biden on the payroll at $100,000/month as an advisor, Ukraine style. Problems solved!

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