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Musk: Government approval for 2nd Starship/Superheavy launch expected before Friday

According to a tweet today by Elon Musk, he has been informed that the federal government will give its blessing for SpaceX to conduct the second Starship/Superheavy test launch from Boca Chica in time for a Friday November 17, 2023 launch.

The launch window opens at 7 am (Central) and lasts until 11:20 am.

Let us all now bow our heads to our lords and saviors at the FAA and Fish and Wildlife for finally deciding to allow this once-free American to simply do something the government was once forbidden from blocking. The worst part is that the fundamental law that forbids such government interference (its called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights) has not been officially repealed, merely morphed into nothing more than fish wrap while everyone decided to look the other way.

Be warned: Even if by some miracle this second test launch goes perfectly, these government agencies are still not going to allow a quick turn-around for a third launch. No, they will put SpaceX through the same investigatory grind, eating up months. And if the more likely scenario occurs, and the launch does not go perfectly, I guarantee the grind will go on longer.

Sovereign power now resides within Washington, not the people of the United States. The proof is how so many of those people now consider this situation normal and expected.

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  • David Eastman

    It’s amazing to read the comments at someplace like Ars Technica, where even the people who are enthusiastic and hopeful that SuperHeavy will succeed, temper their comments with some kind of “but Elon”, and express the sentiment that dear big brother government absolutely must be peeking into everything and making sure that SpaceX doesn’t somehow screw up and ruin everything. The concept that SpaceX ARE the experts now is totally beyond them, they are steeped in the belief that working for the government somehow gives you super powers of knowledge and insight and responsibility, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  • Diane Wilson

    Doesn’t Starship qualify for Second Amendment protection?

    Asking for a friend.

  • David K

    @DianeWilson I would love to see that court case. Based on the current Supreme Court, I’m not actually sure which way it would go.

    Let’s see what happens if Trump gets a second term, which the polls are currently favoring. I suggest the Tiger King as head of fish and wildlife. They may need to convert the Whitehouse into a prison, but it might be worth it.

  • Diane E Wilson

    @DavidK – Harry Truman used to refer to the Oval Office as the crown jewel of the American penal system. I think it’s been converted now for elder care.

  • Jeff Wright

    Starship would be considered a destructive device…even Falcon is an ICBM+ rocket.

  • David K, I recommend Sarah Palin for Secretary of the Interior.

    The EPA would still have something appropriate to do in that case … cleaning up all the exploding-head debris that would be covering DC.

    they are steeped in the belief that working for the government somehow gives you super powers of knowledge and insight and responsibility, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    David E, you have just described one of the most intractable problems in modern civilization. And it extends well beyond that gaggle of tech fanbois at ARS.

  • John

    I just want to say hats off to the department of interior, whatever rent a ranger investigated the Boca Chica did a bang up job. This was much more complicated than making sure the fish is big enough, or the proper game tag is present. They really illustrated the danger to the yellow bellied sap sucker, and the mitigations are both sensible and measurable. Truly we are the land of the free and home of the brave. I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free!

  • Edward

    I have looked around, and there just isn’t much excitement about a launch on Friday, and what little I found continues to say that it is “pending final regulatory approval” or similar disclaimers. The 17th seems to be a “no earlier than” date (NET).

    I do not know how far in advance SpaceX needs that final regulatory approval in order to prepare for flight, so this date could slip at any moment. Unless I hear differently, I’m unlikely to wake up early on Friday. It has been 24 hours, and no one is saying where Musk got his tip that the approval is imminent. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone in this evil, tyrannical government were messing with Musk.

  • Edward: I mentioned in taping my next Batchelor appearance today that Musk’s tweet struck me as fitting his MO for applying pressure on the bureaucrats.

  • Jeff Wright

    To Edward–
    It could be that the news cycle is just so busy that harassing Musk just fell off the radar.

  • David Eastman

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if SpaceX and NASA HLS have been hearing “almost ready, we’ll have formal approval soon” messages from FWS and the FAA for long enough, that this time they’re going public with it to apply pressure to actually get it done. Unfortunately unless they explicitly say “hey, they told us it would be ready and then didn’t release it”, which of course they won’t since they can’t bite the hand that feeds them, people are prone to believing Elon jumped the gun, rather than bureaucrats are being bureaucrats.

  • Steve Richter

    a government shutdown was averted today. That disrupts what I think was the plan of the democrats to delay the launch yet again due to no funding to pay for the FWS official to work the day they are supposed signoff on the launch. I do think Elon is being remarkably disciplined in his public comments leading up to this launch. I think democrats were counting on Elon being goaded into making partisan anti Biden comments. Or defying the regulatory authority of the Feds.

    And how lame is the space media? Could someone get the FWS to explain what is special about this upcoming Friday date? Why is it the launch approval could not have been approved last week or last month?

  • Col Beausabre


    How many of you really think Starship will launch on the 17th?

  • Col Beausabre


    How many of you really think Starship will launch on the 17th?

    I think they are jerking Musk around for laughs.

  • Or perhaps they actually are going to let him launch … because they now need the distraction, provided by an American succeeding the old-fashioned American way, from the Blues Brothers style multi-car pile-ups of this myopic, hubris-soaked Administration.

  • Jester Naybor: I agree, but I cannot find any other information on line, confirming an actual launch license. This announcement merely sets the rules for the range if a launch occurs on November 17th.

    I expect we shall hear more shortly. I request my readers to comment immediately here if they see better launch license information.

  • Sgt Stryker

    Elon says: Badges; we don’t need no badges!

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