Before it can relaunch its ambitious Starship rocket, Elon Musk's SpaceX must clear a number of regulatory obstacles.
Following an inquiry of the Starship's unsuccessful debut, the FAA has ordered 63 remedial steps. The Starship is now the biggest rocket in the world.
An very destructive explosion that occurred during the rocket's launch in April led to the FAA's inquiry. The explosion generated a cloud of pulverised concrete that extended kilometres around the launch site and blasted debris, including concrete and metal shards, soaring thousands of feet.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, responded to the accident by implementing improvements to the 394-foot (120-meter) rocket and reinforcing the launch pad.
"Congrats to SpaceX for completing & documented the 57 items required by the FAA for Flight 2 of Starship!" Musk said on X.
A freshly modified Starship is already waiting for its subsequent trip on the launch pad. This rocket will also launch without any passengers, much like its predecessor.
Immediately following takeoff from Boca Chica Beach, the first test flight ended in tragedy when the rocket had to be destroyed after losing control.
The Gulf of Mexico received the collision's debris. According to SpaceX, flames started near the rocket's tail due to fuel leaks that occurred during ascent. This cut off communication with the main flight computer and resulted in a loss of control.
Despite the setback, SpaceX remains optimistic. The company stated that the ill-fated flight provided "numerous lessons learned." SpaceX's ultimate goal is to develop a fleet of Starships capable of carrying people and supplies to Mars.
However, before reaching the red planet, NASA plans to use the Starship to return astronauts to the moon within the next few years.
As of 2023, SpaceX is developing the Starship system as a fully reusable two-stage launch vehicle.
The Starship is also designed to support flights to the Moon and Mars, marking a significant step forward in space exploration. However, before these ambitious plans can be realised, SpaceX must first navigate the regulatory landscape here on Earth.
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