Bad news for Elon Musk. Starship won’t fly again until SpaceX fixes dozens of critical flaws which the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) discovered during its investigation into the first explosive launch last April.
A few days ago the tycoon
tweeted public that everything has already been prepared for the second attempt and that all that is missing is the approval of the organization in question. However, the FAA’s conclusions did not follow the businessman’s optimistic tone. The super-heavy rocket and starship will remain on the ground until numerous upgrades and spare parts are applied.
The administration today announced it was closing its investigation into the death of the Starship during its first orbital test flight. In it, authorities concluded that SpaceX must implement “63 corrective actions” to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
Among the modifications that need to be made to Starship, the FAA cites inspection of components to prevent leaks and fires, design changes, and analysis and testing of critical safety systems. The latter includes AFSS, a remote self-destruct system that did not work properly when first launched. But that is not all. SpaceX must also make further adjustments to its oversight practices.
Now the American organization has clarified that the application of each of these amendments does not imply automatic approval to make the starship fly again. SpaceX will have to once again seek formal approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, a process that could extend the wait by several months.
“The closure of the incident investigation does not mean an immediate resumption of Starship launches in Boca Chica. SpaceX must take all corrective actions that impact public safety and request and obtain a license modification from the FAA that takes into account all applicable environmental and safety regulatory requirements. , before the upcoming launch of Starship.”
US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
More changes for the starship
Another important modification that the FAA mentions is strengthening the launch site. Let’s not forget that this was the cause of great controversy after the first Starship took off, as the Super Heavy’s Raptor engines destroyed it and sent shards of cement flying for several kilometers.
SpaceX already addressed this issue several months ago. In fact, Elon Musk assured that the company chose the last option so that the episode does not repeat itself. So they laid down 1,000 cubic meters of reinforced concrete with two water-cooled steel plates on top.
In fact, the tycoon himself has assured that the company plans to make more than 1,000 changes to the Starship before its second flight. Among them is the implementation of a new “hot” method of decoupling a ship from a rocket and an electric vector thrust control system instead of a hydraulic one. However, according to the businessman, the second attempt will have a 60% chance of successfully reaching Earth orbit.. Although he predicted that everything would depend on how well the separation of steps would be organized.
SpaceX has now released an update on what happened with the first Starship and the changes that will be implemented in the second. In addition, he emphasized the importance of being able to develop his designs in real-world scenarios.
“Testing new flight hardware under development in flight conditions is what allows our teams to quickly learn and implement design changes and upgrades to increase the likelihood of future success. During the tests, we learned a lot about the vehicle and ground systems.” “Starship’s first flight test. Recursive enhancement is important as we work to develop a fully reusable launch system capable of transporting satellites, payloads, crew and cargo to a variety of Earth, lunar or Martian orbits and landing sites.”
Source: Hiper Textual