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SpaceX’s Starship 4 may get an early test license than Starship 3



Starships at Starbase Texas

A senior Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) official indicates that SpaceX’s Starship 4 may get an early license approval for test flight than its predecessor.

At the recent Payload Capitol Hill event, Kelvin Coleman, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation shared details on the future space launches of the Starship launch vehicle.


The event host asked Coleman to give a reaction on Starship’s third orbital flight test and its mishap investigation as well as the approval of the fourth flight test.

Coleman replied that there wasn’t “anything major” in the flight test. There were no critical systems for safety that were implicated during the test. In such case, the mishap investigation can be completed with ease and could be processed at a fast pace he explained.


On March 14, SpaceX launched the third integrated Starship flight test. The rocket completed a liftoff, and stage separation, and reached orbit for the first time. The company also performed several on-orbit objectives including propellant transfer.

There were no public injuries or property damage were reported during the test. The third test flight however didn’t complete the landing of the first and second stages as planned. Therefore, the test is subject to mishap investigation.


FAA said it will oversee the SpaceX-led mishap investigation including both Starship and Super Heavy booster.

Colman’s statement suggests that the sooner the mishap investigation was compiled the faster SpaceX could get approval for the fourth Starship flight test.


Earlier today, SpaceX also shared visuals of moving Flight 4’s ship to the launch pad for a static fire test.

More launches:

The FAA’s Coleman mentioned that SpaceX is looking to fly Starship six to nine times this year and FAA and SpaceX are working together to make this work.


“We’re trying to work with them to get them on a different program if you will in terms of how we approve their launches going forward,” he said.

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Mel Trivalo is a senior author at, he began his early career in electronics in 2021 and turned his attention towards Space and Rocket Science. Mel likes to explore new technologies and swings baseball to run through creative thoughts.