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SpaceX’s Test Flight of Starship Accused of Violating the FAA’s Terms of Test License

Bipasha Mandal
Bipasha Mandal
Bipasha Mondal is writer at TechGenyz

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SpaceX’ “Starship” flight that was scheduled to have its first high-altitude test flight on 30th January has been accused of violating the Federal Aviation Administration’s test license terms. Previously, last month when attempting to land after a successful launch, the Starship exploded.

There were various reasons for the accident, and Musk even explained that the touchdown velocity had been too high due to low pressure in the fuel tank and that the team received all the data they needed nevertheless. Following the explosion, SpaceX refused to comply with the FAA authorization.

People familiar with the issue and the licensing agreement reported that an initial investigation was conducted at the time, especially focusing on the explosion to figure out what went wrong before the Starship could successfully land.

No Response from SpaceX

SpaceX has made no official response regarding the validity of the accusation. The spacecraft that was destroyed last month was the prototype of a heavy launch vehicle whose main exponent is Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The rocket is about 16 stories high and is useful for carrying both humans and cargo weighing up to 100 tons to Moon and Mars.

The self-guided rocket exploded when it landed on the landing pad after what appeared to be a controlled descent. The goal for the test flight was to check its flight at the altitude of 41,000 feet, which was first propelled by three newly developed Raptors by SpaceX.

The question remains

If the rocket flew too high then what was agreed upon beforehand. SpaceX too does not know the answer to this question. The FAA said it would consider all the additional information provided by SpaceX to see if the launch license could be modified in the future.

The FAA said in a statement:

“We will only approve this modification if we are satisfied with the necessary steps, SpaceX has taken.”


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