FAA call their aircraft licences certificates for historical reasons, their forebear took over certificate issue from the aero club, but they are ICAO licences. FAA *licence* spacecraft facilities and the spacecraft. They also licence launches. In this case, it would likely be a “Commercial Space Transport Licence”. Text from one of the Starship licences, emphasis added;I never heard the FAA use the word license. Always been certificate. As in Pilot Certificate, not Pilot License.
Seems it would be a Special Flight Permit. Did the reporter get it right?
“SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES
License Number: LRLO 20-119
US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20591
Issued: May 28, 2020 Effective: May 28, 2020
is authorized, subject to the provisions of 51 USC Subtitle V, ch. 509, and the orders, rules, and regulations issued under it, to conduct suborbital reusable launch vehicle (RLV) missions.
General. Space Exploration Technologies is authorized to conduct RLV missions to launch the Starship Prototype Launch Vehicle. The RLV missions authorized by this license commence and conclude at the Boca Chica launch and landing site, Boca Chica, Texas.
This license is granted subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations set forth in licensing orders A, B, and C and any subsequent orders issued by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
The licensee shall at all times conduct its operations in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation for the activities authorized by this license.”
Hope that is sufficient explanation.