FAA defends SpaceX despite unauthorized Starship SN8 launch


Starship prototype SN8 flies above Boca Chica, Texas.


The leader of the Federal Aviation Administration’s space office defended Elon Musk’s SpaceX in front of Congress, despite the company launching a Starship prototype in December without authorization.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the FAA’s role in spaceflight, with the regulator working to keep pace with the U.S. rocket launch market’s unprecedented growth in the past decade. The FAA is especially working to streamline the process of clearing and limiting airspace for launches, which can delay or divert flights.

During the hearing, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., noted that he and…


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