SpaceX may have to delay its mission to test its Starship rocket in orbit, a source told CNN.
SpaceX wanted to launch Starship in July, but environmental reviews could push it back, the source said.
The reviews should ensure SpaceX isn't harming wildlife around its South Texas launch pad.
SpaceX may have to delay its first Starship rocket orbit mission because of ongoing assessments of wildlife and ecosystems around the launch area, a source told CNN on Tuesday.
But the date could be pushed back due to ongoing environmental reviews that need to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before SpaceX can get a launch license, the source, who is familiar with the licensing process, told CNN.
SpaceX needs to conduct an environmental assessment to ensure that the Starship-Super Heavy system won't harm nearby wildlife or ecosystems around its launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas.
The assessments and a launch license won't be processed in time for an early July launch, the source told CNN.
The company may ultimately need a new environmental impact statement, which could take up to three years to complete, Insider's Morgan McFall-Johnsen and Aylin Woodward reported in March.
Musk's space company has launched five prototypes of the 16-story Starship rocket. The first four exploded, but the fifth landed successfully, meaning Starship can now be tested with the 23-story Super Heavy booster, designed to blast the rocket into orbit.
SpaceX eventually wants the Starship system to carry humans to the moon and to Mars, returning back to Earth for repeat trips.
Musk has said he is "highly confident" that SpaceX will launch an uncrewed Starship to Mars in 2024, followed by a crewed mission in 2026. Space industry experts told Insider that SpaceX could well reach Mars, but not as soon as Musk hopes.
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