The huge tower in Texas, built by the space company SpaceX for Starship rocket flights, has problems. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it is not approved and disputes between the office and Musk continue. Starbase, meanwhile, is preparing one of the first stages of Super Heavy for the first engine test, informs Ars Technica.
The aviation authority is not enthusiastic
A representative of the Federal Aviation Administration was in favor CNBC said SpaceX is building a take-off tower at its own risk because it has not been approved. According to him, the reassessment of the environment may force the company to demolish the tower. The Office initiated this reassessment under Ars Technica already at the end of last year, because the initial investigation took into account the much smaller Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy missiles.
In the coming days, the eighth section will be added to the tower, which is also the last. According to documents submitted to the office, the construction will reach a total height of 146 meters, plus a lightning conductor 3 meters high. This will significantly exceed the height of the rocket itself, ie reach a height of 120 meters. One reason is that SpaceX wants to use the tower to capture the early stages of Super Heavy landing with a huge hug.
This eliminates the need to land and speeds up the process of preparing for a restart. The demolition of the tower is unlikely, despite threats from an FAA spokesman. As in the past, this time we will probably see an agreement between the office and the company and the huge Boca Tsitsa tower will remain standing. If not, we can expect angry situations on Musk’s Twitter.
Is @thesheetztweetzIs the report accurate? Of course it is, and it has documentation. But do I think this tower will come down because of that? No. 😅
The FAA flex leads SpaceX to the phone to discuss it and they will come to an agreement. They probably already have. pic.twitter.com/e6U2CD5gmc
– Chris Bergin – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) July 15, 2021
Super Heavy is getting ready to test the engines
This is by no means the first problem for Muska space company with the FAA. They even violated their license last Decemberwhen an original SN8 Starship rocket was launched, despite the fact that they did not have a license from the office.
For the most part, this was a communication error, and although this error was not repeated in further testing, the company is still awaiting approval for another huge milestone. The team is the first orbital flight of the Starship, in which the first stage of Super Heavy must also participate.
The first test of the Raptor rocket engines is currently being prepared, which the company has so far only started in the second stage (Starship) or during tests at the McGregor Center, which is also located in Texas.
In Boca Chica, according to NASAS Spaceflight also discovered the first wings of the second stage of Starship, which are covered with curved tiles of the thermal shield. SpaceX is therefore preparing for orbital flight, as when re-entering the atmosphere it is necessary to cover the entire side of the rocket with such a shield, including the wings, which correct the entire fall.
SpaceX / Flickr
As expected, orbiting debut will not take place this month, despite Elon Musk promises (we are used to it) and it is possible to wait a few months. However, the company will try to achieve this milestone later this year, if the FAA allows it.