The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told SpaceX in a letter that SpaceX’s launch tower they are building that could go as high as 480 feet are not approved yet and that pending an environmental review, might have to be taken down saying SpaceX is building them at “their own risk.”
According to the FAA, the support towers originally included in the FAA approval at SpaceX’s launch site in Boca Chica, Texas were only 100 feet or less. The previous environmental review by the FAA was for SpaceX’s smaller Falcon rocket while SpaceX is now building its Starship which is 160 feet tall and the rocket for the Starship is 230 feet tall. SpaceX has said it intends to launch their Starships from Boca Chica.
SpaceX previously told the FAA in a letter that the launch tower in Boca Chica should not be part of the FAA environmental review because it only intends to use the tower for production, research and development purposes. FAA safety authorization division manager Daniel Murray wrote, “However, SpaceX’s project description in the administrative draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment provided to the FAA on May 5, 2021 indicates otherwise.”