HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Tuesday that the release date of the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) will be pushed further into 2022.

SpaceX launch pad November 2021. [Photo: Gaby Moreno]

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An update was sent by the FAA saying they will release the Final PEA on February 28, 2022.

The government agency had previously set December 31, 2021, as their release date back in November. No explanation was given for the new date.

The FAA adds that SpaceX, under the supervision of the FAA, is “currently drafting responses for the over 18,000 public comments received on the Draft PEA.”

Some of those comments were heard during the FAA’s public hearing on the Draft PEA back in October. The agency heard comments from people in full support of SpaceX operations in south Texas, to complete opposition.

The delay will further push back, CEO and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s plans of sending a prototype of the reusable spacecraft, Starship/Super Heavy, into orbit.

In a November interview with the National Academy of Science Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Musk expressed plans of sending the Starship/Super Heavy prototype into orbit as early as January 2022. The new release date of the Final PEA will now push that date further into the future.

Early this month, Musk announced through Twitter that construction of a Starship launchpad had begun at the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

The agency added that the new release date “will allow the FAA to review the Final PEA, including responses to comments and coordinate with agencies at the local, State, and Federal level.” SpaceX is in charge of giving the Final PEA to the FAA for review.