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Business News/ News / World/  Elon Musk denies report of Starlink IPO plans, calls it 'false'
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Elon Musk denies report of Starlink IPO plans, calls it 'false'

SpaceX receives approval for second launch of Starship rocket after mishap investigation

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (AP)Premium
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (AP)

SpaceX fouder Elon Musk has denied a report that his rocket company was discussing an initial public offering (IPO) for its satellite internet business, Starlink, as soon as 2024.

Musk called the report 'false' on the social media platform X, saying SpaceX had been moving the unit's assets to a wholly owned unit that would ultimately be spun off.

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SpaceX has an estimated value of $150 billion and was the first private company to send humans into orbit.

The Starlink unit is the world's largest satellite operator. On Thursday, SpaceX received approval for the second launch of its groundbreaking Starship rocket by FAA. The US Federal Aviation Administration reinstated SpaceX’s Starship launch license, and noted, “SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy and financial responsibility requirements".

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Starship — the largest and most powerful rocket ever developed — is key to Musk’s ambitions of carrying payloads and people to distant destinations like the moon and Mars. Starship will also be used for launching the company’s next-generation Starlink satellites meant to increase the capacity of the internet-from-space initiative.

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The approval is an important milestone for SpaceX after the agency grounded the rocket in the wake of its first test flight on April 20. During that flight, Starship successfully took off from its Texas launchpad but suffered multiple engine failures as it ascended into the sky. The rocket then failed to separate as planned and started spinning out of control, prompting SpaceX to intentionally blow it up.

The launch itself also damaged SpaceX’s launchpad and spread debris and pulverized concrete across hundreds of acres of terrain.

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The FAA oversaw a mishap investigation of the launch, which the agency closed in September. In its final investigation report, the FAA called on SpaceX to make 63 corrective actions designed to prevent similar failures and damage from happening during future Starship launches.

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In October, a SpaceX vice president testified before Congress that the lengthy license approval process was preventing the company from flying Starship as quickly as possible.

Environmental groups sued the FAA in May, saying the agency hastily approved SpaceX’s Starbase launch facility. The FAA has said it doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation matters.

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Published: 16 Nov 2023, 07:40 AM IST
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