BS From The FAA

They are grounding Starship until they are satisfied with the mishap investigation.

They have no legal basis for doing this. There was nothing about that flight that endangered the public, which is the only thing they should be concerned about. They do not do mission assurance, and SpaceX shouldn’t have to wait for them to reissue the license to try again.

[Update a few minutes later]

How thirteen different news outlets covered the SpaceX flight.

26 thoughts on “BS From The FAA”

  1. The FAA should stick to supervising airline safety and air traffic control.
    In this case as you say, Rand, there was no danger to to public. The booster bits landed about where planned as did the ship.
    What went wrong on this flight is only SpaceX’s problem and they will know far more about it and what to fix than the FAA will ever know.

  2. Hello, DoD and NASA?

    We’re going to be devoting 100% of our resources to this problem. So no more launches until then.

    1. “Hello, DoD and NASA?”

      I think the key is DOD; are they going to tolerate FAA getting in the way of their own clear designs to have the starship super heavy boosters in their stable for launching among other things large spy satellites and or SDI components? Ultimately that’s what will expedite things. Entirely separate from Elon Musk ambition to of course colonized Mars.

  3. Simple question did it perform the flight profile that there application stated?

    The Starship-Super Heavy test flight will originate from Starbase, TX. The booster stage will
    separate and will then perform a partial return and land in the Gulf of Mexico. The orbital Starship
    spacecraft will continue on its path to an altitude of approximately 235 km before performing a
    powered, targeted landing in the Indian Ocean.

    Did it perform powered targeted landing in the Indian ocean? Otherwise it was a mishap and in their purview and obligated to investigate. Hopefully it be a fairly quick mishap review.

  4. That looks more like the comms application with the FCC than the FAA launch license application.
    AFAIK there was no intention for a powered landing of the ship, just a belly flop into the ocean IF it survived re-entry.
    All the pieces landed about where expected. No public danger.

    1. Yea wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but this is close here is the map with the debris zone. Did it comply?

  5. More evidence, if any were needed, that The Fix Is In on the part of the Biden Regime to try to screw Musk in any and all ways possible.

    1. “More evidence, if any were needed, that The Fix Is In on the part of the Biden Regime to try to screw Musk in any and all ways possible.”

      Well…it has been more than suggested that Obama is the power behind the throne so to speak of the Biden administration. In light of that this seems interesting:

      “During a renewable energy conference in Paris this week, Obama slammed the plans of Silicon Valley “tycoons, many of whom are building spaceships” that could get humans to Mars, as quoted by Agence France Presse. While he didn’t mention Musk specifically by name, it was almost certainly aimed directly at him.

      “But when I hear some of the people talk about the plan to colonize Mars because the Earth environment may become so degraded that it becomes unliveable, I look at them like, what are you talking about?” he added.”

      In other words the FAA action might be provoked by some kind of desire to stop those crazy rich people (Musk/Bezos) from “abandoning” Earth to its fate (no doubt caused by people like them) to “run away” to Mars. But as I said earlier DOD/Space Force ambitions to have some kind of super heavy lift reusable rocket to advance their agenda is probably something they are not reckoning with.

      1. Kinda odd how Obama is out doing all these talks and doesn’t get much coverage of what he says.

  6. Remember the FAA motto:

    “We’re not happy until you’re not happy”

    They screw up more things than they get right. As a bureaucracy, they excel at Bureaucracy.

    There are few things they cannot make worse.

    1. I know this isn’t exactly the right audience for a meme reference, but is Jasper Beardly heading up the FAA these days?

      The way it’s going, I’m somewhat surprised that delaying the flight from the opening of the launch window to later in the window isn’t cited as a “mishap”.

      As Jasper would say, “That’s a paddlin’…”

  7. I can think of about 3 million GS workers who should be kept in Guantanamo (or much larger equivalent) until cleared of wrongdoing. I say this in spite of the fact my dad was a member of the Deep State who retired from Bu Mines after 40 years of service (incl US Army and USGS time) as a GS 14 step 9. I was a WG for DoD Navy, the other side of the coin.

  8. I’m in a chat discussion about how different the FAA tone on these tests sounds comp compared to the high-altitude tests they were doing on Starship. Does anyone have anything handy about the length and depth of the FAA investigations that were happening when he had huge vehicles flying back to land and exploding?

    1. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) took 7 months from incident to final report. NASA would take 2 more years before returning to flight, and the return to flight mission (STS-114) nearly had an early engine cut-off abort to orbit, which caused another year delay prior to the next flight (STS-115). Interestingly, Wikipedia on the STS-114 mission doesn’t mention the SSME Engine Cut-off Sensor Anomaly (it was a bit more than just a sensor), yet NASA considers it a close call like STS-27, in which the orbiter and crew were nearly lost. Luck was the factor that saved the crew, not a good design and operation.
      Both STS-107 and STS-114 had major, long-term systemic problems that were not addressed when first noticed decades earlier in previous shuttle missions. Although a twenty something might think the Starship burn-up during entry was like the loss of Columbia; it was only so in that both burned on entry. After that, they are nothing alike in terms of root cause. Also, nothing alike in SpaceX’s ability to change the system to fix the problem versus NASA.

  9. If this is an argument about excessive bureaucracy and over regulation by the FAA; alright, I can agree to a point.

    But that point is this; the Starship orbiter failed to maintain attitude control during entry. Whether you call that a mishap (FAA), anomaly (legacy NASA), or unsuccessful test objective (SpaceX); it happened and SpaceX, NASA, and FAA all have good reasons to want to investigate what happened and determine a design solution to resolve it. I really don’t understand this be controversial.

    As for the FAA getting in Musk’s way to slow down SpaceX for NASA; I won’t defend the FAA and other bureaucracies being a problem. They don’t deserve my defense. I will note that every flight of Starship has been met with an outrage about FAA authorization, yet I haven’t seen it be much of a hinderance to SpaceX continuing their launches. Perhaps a month or two, yet SpaceX seems to be moving ahead and the FAA has given them approval for three flights to date and I predict will do the same for another flight this year. Can SpaceX go faster without this oversight and do so safely; I think they could to the tune of probably 4 flights this year.

  10. “SpaceX Reportedly Building Hundreds of US Government Spy Satellites”

    “It is unclear when SpaceX will begin launching these Starshield-affiliated satellites. The company has plans to deploy a new generation of Starlink hardware once the Starship rocket is fully operational. The new rocket, which recently flew for the third time, has the capacity to launch bulkier Starlink nodes and may also be ideal for deploying the mysterious NRO surveillance satellites.”

    Why I’m not too worried about FAA stopping the starship super heavy Oviously DOD etc is salivating at the thought of a super heavy 150 metric ton to orbit reusable rocket dirt cheat comparatively speaking to launch their spysats.

  11. What the FAA is doing is perfectly legal, Rand – and that’s the problem. The regs require that any launch anomaly, and especially a
    “mishap”, be investigated and corrective actions proposed, “approved”, and implemented prior to the next flight. The last person to realize how ridiculous that was and find ways to mitigate the effects it was George Nield. His retirement was the greatest loss the space industry has experienced, having removed the only barrier between idiocracy and progress the industry had. Outsiders don’t know what he risked, personally, to keep things moving. Working for George was the greatest honor and privilege of my career.

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