SpaceX must take 63 corrective actions before it can launch its Starship mega rocket a second time. Around six months ago, the largest rocket system ever built in space history exploded during a test launch. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now completed its investigation into the incident and called on SpaceX to make concrete improvements. “The final report details numerous reasons for the April 20, 2023 accident and includes any corrections SpaceX must make to prevent it from happening again,” the FAA said.
Among other things, changes would have to be made to the rocket system and the launch pad, as well as additional analyzes and tests, it said. There should be no new tests of the “Starship” until all improvement measures affecting public safety have been taken and an adapted license has been issued. SpaceX assured that several improvement measures have already been implemented.
Only four minutes in the air
The “Starship” set off for an unmanned test launch for the first time in mid-April – and four minutes later exploded and shattered. However, SpaceX boss Elon Musk did not see this as a setback, but as an “exciting test start”. Musk had always emphasized that another one should follow as soon as possible.
The “Starship”, which is around 120 meters long, is designed so that the spaceship and rocket can be reused after returning to Earth. It should be able to transport well over 100 tons of cargo and enable manned missions to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX even hopes to get to Mars one day.
rb/wa (AFP, AP, dpa)