Documents demonstrate that SpaceX disregarded FAA concerns about the launch of the Starship SN8.
According to records, SPACEX ignored warnings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when launching its first Starship prototype last year.
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, has a history of breaking the rules in his numerous endeavors. He’s been warned about his tweets concerning cryptocurrency and Tesla, and he’s also said that under the FAA’s present guidelines, humanity will never get to Mars. But his most recent deviant behavior will be hard to beat.
According to sources, SpaceX rejected FAA concerns that the SN8 – the first high-altitude Starship test – should not be launched in December 2020.
The SN8 rocket was launched 12.5 kilometers into the sky, into a state known as “suborbit.”
Once in the air, the rocket began to glide freely above the clouds.
The rocket then made a full circle before crashing into the ground with a violent bang.
The launch, however, was in violation of Space’s launch license, according to documents obtained by The Verge.
SpaceX warned the FAA that their software was a “source of annoyance” because it was “proven to be erroneous at times or unduly conservative,” according to the documents.
As a result, despite the FAA’s lack of full approval, SpaceX proceeded with the launch.
The documents revealed that a hypothetical SN8 explosion – which did occur – may have been exacerbated by meteorological circumstances.
The paper, however, was ignored by SpaceX staff, who “assumed that the inspector did not have the most recent information,” according to the report.
The infraction was “inconsistent with a solid safety culture,” according to FAA space division chief Wayne Monteith un a letter to SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell.
“Although the report stated that all SpaceX parties thought that such risk was sufficiently low to comply with regulatory criteria, SpaceX used analytical procedures that looked to have been devised quickly to meet a launch window,” the letter added.
While SpaceX and the FAA appear to be on good terms again, with Mr Musk’s company receiving approval for three more launches since then, the South African-born billionaire still has issues with the agency.
Mr Musk claimed the FAA was holding humanity back after an SN9 launch was canceled.
“Their guidelines are meant for a handful of throwaway launches per year from a few government facilities,” he stated in a January Twitter outburst.
“Humanity will never travel to Mars if such rules are followed.”
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