SpaceX finally says it's ready to launch Starship, again. The world's most powerful rocket could reach space for the first time in mid-November — if the FAA says yes.

Side-by-side images show a trach-can0shaped prototype of Starship flying in the air, next to a picture of the latest Starship prototype being stacked on top of its booster.
Side-by-side images show two iterations of Starship, the Starhopper on the right and the Starship megarocket on the left.SpaceX/Insider
  • SpaceX is gunning for a mid-November launch date of its massive Starship rocket.

  • The previous launch in April failed and resulted in months of evaluations from the FAA.

  • Now, it's up to the FAA to approve the launch.

Elon Musk's company SpaceX announced on Friday it hopes to schedule a second test flight of its Starship Super Heavy rocket by mid-November. However, the Federal Aviation Administration still hasn't given the company the green light to launch.

The second launch, if successful, would bring Musk one step closer to his dream of setting up a colony on Mars. Musk's goal is to use the Starship's immense power, created by 33 engines able to generate about 500,000 pounds of thrust each, to reach the barren planet, Insider previously reported. The rocket also runs on a fuel source known as methalox — a combination of methane and oxygen — that can theoretically be produced using chemical compounds available on Mars.

The Starship can carry up to 551,000 pounds, per the SpaceX website.

The announcement from SpaceX comes a month after the FAA closed its investigation of the Starship's first failed launch earlier this year.

Among many issues that the April 20 launch faced — which included a failed separation of the spacecraft and its booster — the rocket created a large crater on its mount. This resulted in dust, debris, and chunks of concrete being propelled into surrounding neighborhoods.

"The FAA will not authorize another Starship launch until SpaceX implements the corrective actions identified during the mishap investigation," the FAA previously told Insider after concluding its investigation, adding that SpaceX would also have to comply with all other regulatory requirements for modifying its launch license.

In a press statement on its website, the space company said it will integrate a new method called hot-staging, allowing the spacecraft to ignite its engines and push itself away from the booster to complete the separation.

SpaceX also said it is integrating a flame deflector, powered by water, as well as other enhancements to its launchpad to prevent another crater mishap. Insider previously reported that the flame deflector was missing during the rocket's initial launch.

"Starship's first flight test provided numerous lessons learned that directly contributed to several upgrades to both the vehicle and ground infrastructure to improve the probability of success on future flights," the company wrote.

Now, it's up to the FAA to complete the pending assessment of the Starship and issue the company's launch license.

The FAA said in a statement Tuesday that it completed a safety review of the Starship that evaluated public health concerns that could arise during a launch. The agency continues to work on an environmental assessment of the rocket under the Endangered Species Act.

US Fish and Wildlife, which is working with the FAA to complete the environmental evaluation, told The Independent that reviews could take up to 135 days. Still, agency staff "do not expect to take the full amount of time."

The FAA and SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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