Image credit: SpaceX

That milestone-making third test flight of the SpaceX Starship involved mishaps with the Super Heavy booster and the Starship vehicle.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is “overseeing the SpaceX-led mishap investigation to ensure the company complies with its FAA-approved mishap investigation plan and other regulatory requirements,” according to the federal organization.

Super Heavy booster liftoff, but failed to achieve “soft” landing in ocean waters. Image credit: SpaceX/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Public safety

In a post-launch FAA statement “a mishap occurred during the SpaceX Starship OFT-3 mission that launched from Boca Chica, Texas, on March 14. The mishap involved both the Super Heavy booster and the Starship vehicle.”

No public injuries or public property damage have been reported, the FAA statement points out. “A mishap investigation is designed to further enhance public safety, determine the root cause of the event, and identify corrective actions to avoid it from happening again.”

Up, up and away! Image credit: SpaceX/Inside Outer Space screengrab


Return to flight…when?

As for future launches of the Starship, the FAA will be involved in every step of the mishap investigation process they state, “and must approve SpaceX’s final report, including any corrective actions.”

Any return to flight will be based on the FAA determining that any system, process, or procedure related to the mishap does not affect public safety.

“In addition, SpaceX may need to modify its license to incorporate any corrective actions and meet all other licensing requirements,” the FAA statement concludes.

Go to SpaceX Starship launch replay at:

Starship reentry, then breakup of vehicle. Image credit: SpaceX/Inside Outer Space screengrab

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