Max Q: Elon says Starship is ready, FAA says not quite

Hello and welcome back to Max Q!

In this issue:

  • Musk says Starship is "ready to launch," FAA says not yet

  • News from SpaceX and more

Elon Musk says Starship is 'ready to launch,' FAA says not yet

The Federal Aviation Administration has closed the mishap investigation into SpaceX’s first orbital test flight in April, but regulators won’t green light a second launch until the company completes more than 60 “corrective actions.”

While the FAA did not disclose the details of the 63 actions SpaceX must take before launching Starship again, the agency did provide a list of just some of what’s expected, including vehicle hardware redesigns, redesigns to the launch pad and additional analysis and testing of safety critical systems.

Once SpaceX has implemented all of the corrective actions -- and only at this point -- it can apply for and receive a modified license from the FAA to launch Starship again.

Starship stacked
Starship stacked

Image Credits: SpaceX (opens in a new window)

More news from across TC

  • Astranis, a venture-backed startup that builds and operates small broadband satellites in a far-off orbit, released more details about its plans to provide internet access to up to 5 million people in Mexico.

  • Elon Musk has confirmed that he in essence scuttled a Ukrainian military strike on Russia by refusing to allow SpaceX's Starlink to be used in the process.

  • Firefly Aerospace inked a new launch agreement with defense prime L3Harris Technologies for three launches on the Alpha rocket in 2026.

  • Redwire Space has successfully “bioprinted” a human knee meniscus aboard the International Space Station, a landmark development that could help people recovering from meniscus injuries here on Earth.

  • Relativity Space is amping up its investment at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, with the company announcing that it would lease a historic first-stage test stand to advance the development of the Terran R launch vehicle.

  • Wyvern has booked space on a Loft Orbital satellite bus that will launch next year, a move that the hyperspectral startup says will boost the capacity of its Dragonette satellite constellation.

Max Q is brought to you by me, Aria Alamalhodaei. If you enjoy reading Max Q, consider forwarding it to a friend.