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the rocket can take off, provided you pay $548 million

The Federal Aviation Administration approves the takeoff of Starship, SpaceX’s rocket. However, there are several conditions to respect, including the payment of almost $550 million.

SpaceX Starship
Credits: SpaceX

Is this the end of the soap opera? Months after the first takeoff of Starship, SpaceX’s rocket, and its explosion in flight, we are waiting to know when the ship will be able to launch into the skies again. The second takeoff is for October, we think. Then finally no, it will be for December. Or for Friday November 17. In short, the only thing we are sure of at this stage is that Starship received FAA approval. The Federal Aviation Administration “has determined that SpaceX meets all safety, environmental, financial policy and accountability requirements,” the account reads X (Twitter) of the institution.

Just like for the first test flight, the license granted is only valid for a single takeoff. However, it differs in terms of conditions to be respected. SpaceX will therefore have to work with FWS (Fish and Wildlife Services) to control the launch site and the surrounding area. This involves verifying that the environment will not be contaminated by operations. Launching such a rocket necessarily creates potentially harmful releases, but the FAA and FWS have determined that there is no threat. Elon Musk’s company will still have to regularly analyze soil samples to ensure that successive takeoffs do not cause a accumulation of metallic substances.

Starship rocket will be able to take off after a payment of $548 million

The FAA report also tells us that Starship will not be fully reusable as SpaceX announced. In fact, the agency must add a type of heat shield to its rocket, and the latter will detach to land in the ocean after takeoff. Except thatit cannot be reused laterrequiring the construction of a shield per launch.

Finally, once all these conditions are met, SpaceX will also have to pay the sum of $548 million as guarantee. It covers both the various tests carried out before takeoff and the launch itself. Most of the money, 500 million, is intended for the latter, while the remaining 48 million ensures ground operations.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration

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