Starship Could Launch Monday According To FAA Notice


The FAA has let it slip that next Monday (April 10) is the target date for the launch of SpaceX’s “Super Heavy” rocket but paperwork might delay it. According to Reuters, a planning notice issued Tuesday says Monday is the “primary expected date” for the first launch of the 394-foot behemoth. Tuesday and Wednesday are also possibilities. The 33-engine first stage with its silo-like Starship forming the second stage is poised for launch on the pad at SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas, facility. The plan is to launch the second stage into orbit with an ocean recovery near Hawaii and to recover the enormous first stage near the Boca Chica site. All parts are designed to be reused.

The FAA says the notice doesn’t presume that it’s given final approval for the launch, especially since SpaceX hasn’t even applied for the launch permit. That could apparently happen very quickly on Monday to allow the test launch, but there’s no guarantee. “The FAA has not made a license determination for the SpaceX Starship Super Heavy operation, and the FAA’s Command Center planning notice should not be interpreted as an indicator that a determination to issue a license has been made or is forthcoming,” the FAA said in a statement to Reuters.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Didn’t realize the FAA was the agency which approved launches of this type. Awesome if the FSDO showed up for a ramp check. :7)

    Love what Space X is doing. Go baby go!

  2. The FAA has been involved with Space Launch since after the Shuttle era. The have been a thorn in Elon’s side for a long time now.

  3. The FAA: Make sure to have a fire extinguisher manned nearby in case there’s a hot start and a fire!
    Elon Musk: Oh yes of course we’ll make sure to do that. Let not your hearts be troubled. Although all of our other launch attempts have resulted in RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) we’re not anticipating that this time, so we believe the danger of a pad fire is minimal. May we please have a GO for launch?

  4. For anyone interested in any rocket launch’s around the world, there’s a nice app called Supercluster (free). It is constantly updated and gives known stats on payload, booster, launch and recovery sites. Plus, gives real-time launch video when available.

  5. You’re entitled to your political biases, but perhaps you should take them to Twitter. This is an aviation website.

  6. I will always hate Tesla but my feelings towards Elon Musk have been improving. I still don’t like him much but he’s been earing a modicum of my respect.

  7. There are either coordinated bad faith trolls and/or extremely dumb people and/or people with ulterior motives infesting these AvWeb threads, obsequiously fawning over Elon Musk and making brain-dead comments about “durrrr FAA bad. Gunmnt bad.”

  8. Ya know, this ‘FAA is Bad’ meme is getting old. Sure, no agency is perfect and they have dropped the ball on safety at times but when they are on mission, the point is to ensure the *public* safety, not so much individual pilots. As the majority of pilots move through the system without much hassle, I guess there are always a few that don’t like the rules.

    With that said, naysayers may want to preview this link ( to get an idea of what FAA’s involvement in commercial space travel is about.

    I want to see SS/SH fly. No question, but as this is the largest experimental spacecraft every built, I don’t mind that there is oversight to ensure…the public…is safe and minimal damage is done to the environment. Boca Chica is not that big a place and SpaceX is lighting up a very very large tank of fuel in a controlled flight. The nearest town is not that far away and it would not be good to have metal shards raining down on a population.

    the FAA will give the go, SpaceX will launch the biggest US rocket ever and ground to LEO will never be the same again.

  9. They must have seen this post, Russ. SpaceX has confirmed that this coming week is dress rehearsal, with the actual launch the following week, all going well.

    FWIW this first launch is not reusable, the upper stage will splash near Hawaii, and the first stage is expected to splash of the Texas coast.