Elon Musk says there is a ‘good chance’ SpaceX’s Starship SN10 will launch this week after the FAA closes its investigation of SN9’s explosive test flight
- SpaceX could launch its Starship SN 10 prototype this week, said Elon Musk
- The firm was under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration
- The investigation looked into the root cause of the exploding SN9 prototype
- The agency found no endangerment, deeming SN10 cleared for take off
- SN10 conducted the same high-altitude flight of six miles into the air
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has closed its investigation on SpaceX‘s exploding Startship SN9 prototype ‘clearing the way for the SN10 test flight.’
The investigation focused on ensuring the operations are safe, which found the explosion did not endanger the public and debris was contained in designated hazard areas.
The announcement from the FAA means SpaceX can move forward with launching its latest prototype, which CEO Elon Musk says has a ‘good chance of flying this week.’
Road closures around SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas facility says that space flight activities are set for February 22 from 9am GMT to 6pm GMT, but it is not clear if the firm is conducting tests or the world will see SN10 take its first six-mile high flight.
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has closed its investigation on SpaceX’s exploding Startship SN9 prototype ‘clearing the way for the SN10 test flight.’ And Elon Musk says it could happen sometime this week
The FAA opened an investigation into SpaceX following the launch of its Starship SN9 on February 2 that ended in the rocket bursting into a ball of flames when it attempted to land.
SN9 took off around 3:24pm ET on February 4 from SpaceX’s Boca Chica testing facility.
The massive rocket hit the six-mile goal about four minutes into flight and then successfully performed an aerodynamic descent on its side while falling to the earth.
However, the prototype was unable to maneuver into the vertical position before landing on the launch pad, hindering its ability to stick the landing.
Road closures around SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas facility says that space flight activities are set for February 22 from 9am GMT to 6pm GMT, but it is not clear if the firm is conducting tests or the world will see SN10 take its first six-mile high flight
Elon Musk hinted on Twitter that SpaceX could launch the Starship SN10 this week
It landed with a deafening crash, and exploded into bright orange flames and a dust cloud, but the fire did not spread.
After the launch, the FAA opened an investigation into the mishap to determine if SpaceX followed protocols – specifically that no one or thing was put in danger during the explosion.
‘The FAA’s top priority in regulating commercial space transportation is ensuring that operations are safe, even if there is an anomaly,’ the federal agency told DailyMail.com in a statement.
The FAA investigation into the exploded SN9 (pictured) focused on ensuring the operations are safe, which found the explosion did not endanger the public and debris was contained in designated hazard areas
‘The FAA will oversee the investigation of the landing mishap involving the SpaceX Starship SN9 prototype in Boca Chica, Texas.’
‘Although this was an uncrewed test flight, the investigation will identify the root cause of today’s mishap and possible opportunities to further enhance safety as the program develops.’
Just as many who watched the live stream, the FAA concluded that the failure occurred during the rocket’s re-entry.
‘The SN9 vehicle failed within the bounds of the FAA safety analysis,’ a FAA spokesperson told CNN. ‘Its unsuccessful landing and explosion did not endanger the public or property.’
The announcement means SN10 would launch from the testing facility and attempt the iconic ‘belly flop’ maneuver on the return trip – but hopefully the latest prototype can still the landing unlike its predecessors.