The FAA seems satisfied with its investigations into Elon Musk’s last two SpaceX Starship tests, each of which ended in an explosive crash, and the conclusion of those investigations should clear the way for a new SN10 flight in the very near future.
“The FAA closed the investigation of the Feb. 2 SpaceX Starship SN9 prototype mishap today, clearing the way for the SN10 test flight pending FAA approval of license updates,” an FAA spokesperson said Friday (Feb. 19) in an emailed statement.
“The FAA provided oversight of the SN9 mishap investigation conducted by SpaceX. The SN9 vehicle failed within the bounds of the FAA safety analysis,” the statement continued. “Its unsuccessful landing and explosion did not endanger the public or property. All debris was contained within the designated hazard area. The FAA approved the final mishap report, including the probable causes and corrective actions.”
It’s not yet clear when the Starship SN10 might launch, but Boca Chica is already closing the local highway and beach in preparation for “non-flight testing activities” on Monday, which some are interpreting to mean a static fire test.
NASASpaceflight journalist BocaChicaGal has been following progress at the launch site closely, and seems like a stellar follow if you’d like to keep tabs as well. Elon Musk tweeted that he thinks the SN10 has a 60 percent chance of actually landing.