FAA Beats SpaceX Corrective Actions Tracking Botched Starship Megarocket Launch

September 11, 2023: On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration stated that Elon Musk’s SpaceX must keep its Starship Super Heavy rocket dropped, saying the party needs to bring 63 remedial steps before it is cleared for another test flight.

The FAA has wrapped its inquiry into the April launch, which saw the rocket explode mid-flight.

On Tuesday, SpaceX CEO Musk declared, in a post on X, which he now owns, that “Starship is ready to tackle, awaiting FAA license support.”

In an emailed statement, the agency stated a previous resort “cites multiple root causes of April 20, 2023, misfortune and 63 corrective actions SpaceX must take to control mishap reoccurrence.”

The corrective measures include “redesigns of vehicle hardware to prevent leaks and fires, redesign of the launch pad to boost its robustness, incorporation of additional reviews in the invention procedure, additional analysis and testing of safety-critical systems and components including the Autonomous Flight Safety System, and the application of additional change control practices.”

For SpaceX to resume Starship launches at its facility in Boca Chica, Texas, the firm will need to “implement all corrective actions that impact public safety,” as determined by the FAA, and to apply for and receive a “license change from the FAA” that manages all of its safety, and other environmental regulatory requirements.

The FAA oversaw the SpaceX mishap investigation, while NASA and the National Transportation Safety Board served as official observers. A full mishap investigation report will not be made public because it contains sensitive data, including U.S. export management information.

The first Starship launch witnessed the nearly 400-foot-tall rocket fly for over three minutes.

Still, it lost numerous engines, caused severe damage to the ground infrastructure, and failed to reach space after the rocket began to tumble and was intentionally destroyed in the air.

The test flight and explosion left a crater in the ground, flung concrete debris into nearby tanks and additional equipment, and impacted a sensitive habitat home to some endangered wildlife. It also sparked an approximately 4-acre fire on state garden land.

Environmental and cultural heritage nonprofits sued the FAA after the first Starship test flight, alleging the agency failed to conduct an appropriate ecological review before authorizing SpaceX to advance its launch plans in Boca Chica. SpaceX entered the FAA as a defendant in that matter.

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FAA Beats SpaceX Corrective Actions Tracking Botched Starship Megarocket Launch