Elon Musk-Led SpaceX's Orbital Debut With Starship Pushed Back Yet Again

Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk-owned SpaceX’s orbital debut for the Starship rocket from the Boca Chica launch site in Texas has been pushed back to, at least, the end of March.

What Happened: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it has extended the programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) of the company's South Texas launch site to March 28 from Feb. 28 to account for further comment review and ongoing interagency consultations.

This is the second pushback from the FAA since December when the aviation agency intended to release the final PEA but delayed it to review the “high volume of comments” that it had received.

See Also: Elon Musk Says Starship To Reach Orbit This Year, Highlights Eventual Threat To 'All Life' At Key SpaceX Event

“The FAA received over 19,000 comments on the Draft PEA,” the agency said, adding that it plans to share the public comments on its website shortly.

Why It Matters: Musk had earlier this month said the towering, fully reusable Starship rocket the space company is building would reach orbit before the end of the year and that he hope to secure the key FAA approval in March.

The billionaire entrepreneur who founded SpaceX with the mission to make humanity multi-planetary had said the space agency will land humans on Mars in five to 10 years.

See Also: SpaceX's Starship Orbital Debut Pushed To March As FAA Flooded With Public Comments

Starship could deliver a payload of around 150 tonnes to low Earth Orbit and about 250 tonnes when expendable. The ambitious transportation system can also carry humanity to the moon, Mars and make interplanetary travel possible.

Photo: Courtesy of SpaceX via Flickr

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