SpaceX flight proposes landing off Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — Originating from Starbase, Texas, the SpaceX Starship Orbital is targeting a landing about 62 miles off the northwestern coast of Kaua‘i.

With the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands near Kekaha, an operation like this would need clearance from the base.

“Although no formal arrangements have been made to date, an event such as this would be coordinated with PMRF in advance, to include possible support from our range,” a PMRF spokesperson said Tuesday.

While there is no launch date yet, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has expressed hopes for the house-and-a-half orbital flight to be held by July 1, according to his social media. In Federal Communications Commission filings, the company requested a period of operation between June 20 and December 20.

The first orbital flight test for the 160-foot tall Starship rocket will spend about 90 minutes going about three-quarters of the way around the planet before it takes on a powered, targeted landing in the Pacific Ocean.

These are the preliminary plans of the first orbital Starship attempt as recorded through a May 13 FCC request for the company to communicate with two stages of the launch system from ground stations during both the flight and recovery operations.

The flight profile states that about 170 seconds into the flight, the “Super Heavy” booster will detach and will return about 20 miles from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, flying east between the Florida Straits.

In addition to this FCC pending permission, SpaceX still has to obtain a permit from the Federal Aviation Administration, and is working with the U.S. Air Force and NASA.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. RGLadder37 May 19, 2021 12:16 am Reply

    They probably don’t need clearance. Just use the location. Spacex would make a wonderful advertising for Kaua’i. Just do it.

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