FAA orders Musk’s SpaceX to take 63 corrective actions on Starship, keeps rocket grounded

Technology

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that SpaceX is not yet clear for another test flight of its Starship Super Heavy launch vehicle.
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The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday said Elon Musk’s SpaceX should keep its Starship Super Heavy rocket grounded, saying the company needs to take 63 corrective actions before it is cleared for another test flight.

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

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had claimed Tuesday, in a post on X (formerly Twitter) which he now owns, that “Starship is ready to launch, awaiting FAA license approval.”

In an e-mailed statement, the agency said a final report “cites multiple root causes of the April 20, 2023, mishap and 63 corrective actions SpaceX must take to prevent mishap reoccurrence.”

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

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

SpaceX wasn’t immediately available for comment.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates…

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