Thursday, August 18, 2022

Musk slams ‘broken’ FAA after Thursday’s Starship test flight cleaned up | Economy News

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Elon Musk tweeted that the FAA Space Division had “ a fundamentally broken regulatory structure ” and that by its rules “ humanity will never reach Mars. ”

Elon Musk has criticized the US Federal Aviation Administration for “a fundamentally broken regulatory structure” amid uncertainty over when his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. would be able to perform a second test flight of its massive Starship spacecraft.

The launch scheduled for Thursday has been canceled and would be postponed until Friday, the FAA said on its air traffic website. The dispatcher did not say whether he ordered the cancellation or why the flight was abandoned.

The FAA and SpaceX did not immediately respond to requests for comment., a space news website, said the status of the test flight was unclear as it showed a live feed from the launch site in Boca Chica, TX near Brownsville .

SpaceX had announced a launch window of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. central time for a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) test flight of its next-generation SN-9 prototype spacecraft. The FAA is to issue a temporary flight restriction for the area in which the Starship would fly, which covers part of the Gulf of Mexico. The restriction prohibits commercial air traffic from ground level to more than 100,000 feet (approximately 30,500 meters).

In a tweet, Musk said the FAA rules are appropriate “for a handful of consumable launches per year from a few government facilities. According to these rules, humanity will never reach Mars. “

SpaceX’s stainless steel spacecraft is designed to be a versatile, fully reusable spacecraft that can carry 100 metric tons for distant space missions to the Moon and Mars and also serve as a point-to-point hypersonic vehicle to reduce travel times on Earth. With the exception of a large booster that creates a two-stage system, the Starship is 160 feet tall with a diameter of 30 feet and can carry up to 100 passengers.

The Starship SN-8 first flew on December 9 with a successful climb and rollover maneuver on landing, remaining stable throughout the nearly seven-minute flight. But the low pressure in a fuel tank caused the spacecraft to land too quickly, resulting in a fireball on touchdown.

– With the help of Alan Levin.


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