US FAA in contact with SpaceX after Starship thruster fire

US FAA in contact with SpaceX after Starship thruster fire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Tuesday it was in “close contact” with SpaceX as the company reviews a fire that occurred during development of its Super Booster. Heavy, but that the agency was prohibited from investigating the case.

US law “limits FAA safety oversight to the protection of the public during planned launch and reentry operations. Yesterday’s event is outside the agency’s jurisdiction,” the FAA said. .

A thruster being developed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX for its next-generation Starship spacecraft caught fire during a ground test Monday in Texas, threatening Elon Musk’s aim to launch Starship into orbit this year.

The incident occurred during a multi-day test campaign in Boca Chica, Texas, of the 7th prototype of the Super Heavy booster, equipped with 33 Raptor engines and intended for use in an upcoming orbital test flight not manned that SpaceX hopes to launch later this year.

Thruster damage is minor, “but we need to inspect all engines,” Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

(Reporting David Shepardson and Shubhendu Deshmukh; French version Augustin Turpin, editing by Kate Entringer)

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