HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, gave an update on the Starship program at the Boca Chica site Thursday night.
Several months after successfully launching and landing the Starship SN15 prototype during a high-altitude test flight, Musk is scheduled to give an update on the Starship program at the Boca Chica site tonight at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time. Musk gave a similar update presentation in 2019.
The presentation took place beside a fully stacked Starship, comprised of the Starship SN20 and SuperHeavy BN4 booster prototypes, the tallest spacecraft ever developed. This is the second time a fully-stacked, nearly 400-foot, Starship has stood at Boca Chica.
WATCH the entire presentation below:
In preparation for the event, SpaceX used the integration tower “chopsticks” to lift Starship SN20 and place it on top of the SuperHeavy BN4 booster early Thursday. The tower will be tasked with sustaining the Starship before launch and catching the SuperHeavy booster upon landing.
While SpaceX will be showing off its rapid development at Starbase tonight, permission to launch Starship is still up in the air.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said they would be releasing the results of its Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) by February 28 after postponing its release. The results of this assessment will either grant SpaceX a license to launch into orbit from the Boca Chica site or deny the license and order an Environmental Impact Statement to ensure that the Starship project will not cause significant adverse environmental effects.
The FAA cited the volume of public responses to their Draft PEA as the reason for the delay from their original December 31, 2021 release date.
Despite the uncertainty, SpaceX has conducted several static fires of Starship and SuperHeavy prototypes equipped with their proprietary Raptor engines. SpaceX is expected to conduct an orbital test launch soon after the license from the FAA is granted.