• Fri. Feb 17th, 2023

FAA Proposes $175K Civil Penalty Against SpaceX for Launch Data Violation

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a civil penalty of $175,000 against SpaceX for not submitting launch collision analysis trajectory data prior to the August 19, 2022, launch of the Starlink Group 4-27 mission.

According to the FAA, SpaceX was required to submit the data to the agency at least seven days prior to the launch. The launch collision analysis trajectory data is used to assess the probability of the launch vehicle colliding with any of the thousands of tracked objects orbiting the Earth.

SpaceX has 30 days to respond to the FAA’s enforcement letter after receiving it.

The FAA’s proposed civil penalty is just one of the regulatory hurdles SpaceX has faced in recent years. In 2019, the company was fined $46,900 by the FAA for unauthorized launches, and in 2018, the company was fined $230,000 for several violations, including launching rockets without proper approval and failing to comply with weather safety regulations.

SpaceX, which was founded by billionaire Elon Musk, is a private space exploration company that has been working to develop reusable rockets and spacecraft to reduce the cost of space travel. The company has successfully launched a number of missions in recent years, including those to resupply the International Space Station and to launch communication satellites into orbit.