The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday it was unclear whether SpaceX would test-fly its Starship super-heavy rocket again.

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration at SpaceX was unclear on Wednesday whether it would test-fly its Starship super-heavy rocket again.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday on X (formerly Twitter), which he now owns, that “Starship is ready for launch and awaiting FAA clearance. ”

However, his aerospace and defense company has yet to meet the FAA requirements to be able to fly again after the vehicle exploded during its first test flight in April 2023.

During the first Starship launch, the nearly 400-foot-tall rocket flew for more than three minutes, but it lost multiple engines, caused serious damage to ground infrastructure, and was killed before the rocket began to roll and was killed in space. Deliberately destroyed and failed to reach space. Air.

The accident left a crater in the ground, threw concrete chunks into nearby storage tanks and other equipment, and affected sensitive habitat for some endangered wildlife. It also sparked about 4 acres of fire on state park land.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not authorize another Starship launch until SpaceX implements corrective actions identified during the accident investigation…

Federal Aviation Administration

The “anomaly” of the Starship launch sparked an accident investigation that will be overseen by the FAA — standard practice for the agency, which is responsible for protecting the public during commercial space transport launches and re-entry operations.

In a statement sent to CNBC late Wednesday, the FAA said: “The SpaceX Starship accident investigation is still ongoing. The FAA will not authorize another launch until SpaceX implements the corrective actions identified during the accident investigation and demonstrates compliance with all regulatory requirements.” Starship.” License modification process. “

technical art It was first reported. SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was asked to submit briefings to the Senate and House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Before SpaceX does any future Starship Super Heavy launches, release their incident report.

Why Starship is integral to SpaceX's future

NASA currently relies solely on SpaceX to send Americans into orbit. SpaceX’s Starship program aims to put heavy scientific equipment into orbit and economically transport more cargo and people to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

this The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday Musk, SpaceX’s largest shareholder, received a $1 billion loan from the company last year, the same month he completed a leveraged buyout of social network Twitter.

The SpaceX CEO has strained relations with state and federal regulators and certain members of Congress.

For example, Musk has ignored FAA requests in recent years. The New Yorker reports In December 2020, Musk urged SpaceX to violate the agency’s order and conduct a test flight of the SN8 rocket on a date expressly prohibited by the agency. The SN8 rocket exploded.

Recently, SpaceX conducted several tests of the new water shower system at the Starship Super Heavy launch site in South Texas. The system is designed to keep the company’s launch pad cool during launches.

However, SpaceX built and tested the water shower system without an environmental permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which typically requires a permit to discharge industrial wastewater on site.

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