Published: Sun, January 31, 2021
Economy | By

SpaceX, Elon Musk clash with the FAA over Starship launch license delays

SpaceX, Elon Musk clash with the FAA over Starship launch license delays

"We will approve the modification only after we are satisfied that SpaceX has taken the necessary steps to comply with regulatory requirements".

"The FAA will continue to work with SpaceX to evaluate additional information provided by the company as part of its application to modify its launch license", FAA representative Steve Kulm said in a statement to the Verge. Elon Musk still thinks all these launches were a huge success despite the exploding prototypes.

The Starship rocket in question was a 16-storey-tall prototype of the heavy-lift launch vehicle which is being developed by Musk's company with the aim to carry human beings and nearly 100 tons of cargo to the moon and Mars in the future.

It seems like the SpaceX team will attempt a high-altitude flight test of Starship SN9 again, on Monday.


Two individuals familiar with the incident have revealed that the December launch of the Starship prototype was in violation of FAA rules.

When SN8 finally touched down, it ignited in flames - and, once the fire and smoke had cleared, all that was left was a pile of debris topped by what remained of the craft's nose cone.

In the leadup to a weird last-minute abort of what may or may not have been Starship SN9's first real launch attempt, Musk had some strong words for the FAA's space division, deeming its regulatory structure "fundamentally broken" and a regime under which "humanity will never get to Mars". Musk expressed his frustration regarding the FAA process and took it to Twitter. The SpaceX founder recently accused the FAA of having a "fundamentally broken" approach to regulating spaceflight that was meant for a small number of non-reusable launches from government pads. In 2018, when he was fined $20 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly misleading Tesla investors via Twitter, Musk told 60 Minutes, "I do not respect the SEC". This capability will enable a fully reusable transportation system created to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond. "I do not respect them". Musk replied: "A lot of the time, the best thing the government can do is just get out of the way".

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