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FAA grounds SpaceX’s Starship Super Heavy launch program after explosion

Apr 25, 2023

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The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded the SpaceX Starship Super Heavy launch program. Elon Musk’s largest spaceship will have no further flights pending an investigation by the federal agency.

The investigation stems from the April 20 launch, when the largest rocket ever built blasted into the air, then blew up mid-flight. No crew was on board and Musk had predicted the rocket had a likely chance of exploding.

Upon takeoff, the launch pad itself exploded, slinging chunks of concrete within the vicinity. According to the pre-launch assessment, SpaceX did not predict that happening. 

The debris that came trickling down from the skies after the rocket explosion is now being assessed to see if the materials are hazardous.

The debris was found spread out further than what was expected by SpaceX, including ash and sand-like particulate matter found in the air after launch that made its way too close to communities.

The FAA’s investigation is said to be standard protocol. While the Starship program, which Musk wants to use to get people to Mars, is on pause, other SpaceX rockets are still free to fly. The Falcon Heavy is still expected to launch a satellite into space April 26.

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KARAH RUCKER: THE FAA HAS GROUNDED THE SPACE X STARSHIP SUPER HEAVY LAUNCH PROGRAM. ELON MUSK’S LARGEST SPACESHIP WILL HAVE NO FURTHER FLIGHTS PENDING AN INVESTIGATION BY THE FEDERAL AGENCY.

THE INVESTIGATION STEMS FROM LAST WEEK’S LAUNCH – WHEN THE LARGEST ROCKET EVER BUILT BLASTED INTO THE AIR – THEN BLEW UP MID-FLIGHT.

NO CREW WAS ON BOARD AND MUSK HAD PREDICTED THE ROCKET HAD A LIKELY CHANCE OF EXPLODING.

UPON TAKEOFF – THE LAUNCH PAD ITSELF EXPLODED – SLINGING CHUNKS OF CONCRETE WITHIN THE VICINITY. SOMETHING SPACEX DID NOT PREDICT HAPPENING ACCORDING TO THEIR INITIAL PRE-LAUNCH ASSESSMENT.

AND THE DEBRIS THAT CAME TRICKLING DOWN FROM THE SKIES AFTER THE ROCKET EXPLOSION IS NOW BEING ASSESSED TO SEE IF THE MATERIALS ARE HAZARDOUS.

THE DEBRIS WAS FOUND SPREAD OUT FURTHER THAN WHAT WAS EXPECTED BY SPACE-X – INCLUDING ASH – AND SAND-LIKE PARTICULATE MATTER FOUND IN THE AIR AFTER LAUNCH THAT MADE ITS WAY TO CLOSE BY COMMUNITIES.

THE FAA’S INVESTIGATION IS SAID TO BE STANDARD PROTOCOL. AND WHILE THE STARSHIP PROGRAM – THE ONE MUSK WANTS TO USE TO GET PEOPLE TO MARS – IS ON PAUSE – OTHER SPACE X ROCKETS ARE STILL FREE TO FLY.

INCLUDING THE FALCON HEAVY WHICH IS EXPECTED TO LAUNCH A SATELLITE INTO SPACE TOMORROW EVENING.