FAA Grounds SpaceX Rocket After Closing Probe On Starship Explosion





The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday grounded Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship until the company takes 63 “corrective actions” before it can request clearance for another launch.

The decision came after the FAA closed its investigation of Starship, which took off on its maiden voyage on April 20, but lasted a little more than four minutes before it lost multiple engines, forcing the company to intentionally destroy it in the air. It marks a big set back for SpaceX and may have a ripple effect on NASA’s efforts to return astronauts to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years.

“SpaceX must implement all corrective actions that impact public safety and apply for and receive a license modification from the FAA that addresses all safety, environmental and other applicable regulatory requirements prior to the next Starship launch,” the FAA said in its statement.

The explosion ultimately led to the scattering of dust and debris over Boca Chica, Texas, where the launch occurred. It also caused a 3.5-acre fire in Boca Chica State Park, according to CNBC, citing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Starship is docked on the launchpad in SpaceX’s Starbase in Boca Chica, and Elon Musk has said it is ready to launch again.

The FAA disagrees.

“The closure of the mishap investigation does not signal an immediate resumption of Starship launches at Boca Chica,” the agency said.

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