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SpaceX, US FAA close Starship launch probe with dozens of fixes

SpaceX, US FAA close Starship launch probe with dozens of fixes

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has closed its technical investigation into SpaceX’s April 2023 test launch of its giant Starship rocket. The agency has ordered SpaceX to implement dozens of corrective measures before flying the vehicle again.

The FAA’s investigation found that the April 20 launch was caused by a combination of factors, including a methane leak in the rocket’s fuel tank, a problem with the rocket’s thrust vector control system, and a failure of the rocket’s launch pad to withstand the force of the explosion.

The FAA has ordered SpaceX to make 63 corrective actions to address the root causes of the failure. These actions include strengthening the launch pad, improving the rocket’s fuel tank seals, and redesigning the rocket’s thrust vector control system.

SpaceX has said that it is committed to implementing the FAA’s corrective actions and that it is working to get Starship back in flight as soon as possible. The company has not yet announced a timeline for the next Starship launch.

The FAA’s closure of the Starship launch probe is a positive step for SpaceX, but it is not a guarantee that the company will be able to fly Starship again soon. The FAA will still need to review SpaceX’s corrective actions before giving the company the green light to launch again.

The Starship program is SpaceX’s next-generation rocket, designed to carry humans and cargo to the moon and Mars. The April 20 explosion was a setback for the program, but SpaceX is determined to move forward and make Starship a reality.

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