The Federal Aviation Administration has completed a technical investigation into SpaceX’s test launch of the giant Starship rocket in April, saying in a statement Friday that the company must take dozens of corrective actions before the vehicle can fly again.
The April 20 launch of SpaceX’s Starship Super Heavy rocket from Texas pulverized its launch pad on takeoff and rose 25 miles before exploding about four minutes into its flight as it attempted a crucial demonstration of reaching space for the first time to reach.
The FAA, which oversees launch site safety, completed its review of SpaceX’s technical investigation into the launch accident on Friday, citing “several root causes” for the failure and 63 corrective actions the company must take before launching the rocket again .
“Completion of the mishap investigation does not mean that Starship launches at Boca Chica will immediately resume,” the agency said, referring to SpaceX’s sprawling Starship launch site in South Texas.
The closure of the FAA probe brings SpaceX one step closer to launching Starship into space for the first time – a key, long-awaited testing milestone before the company can use the reusable rocket for commercial satellite missions and human landings on the lunar surface for NASA .
It was unclear whether SpaceX had already implemented some of the FAA’s 63 corrective actions, the completion of which will largely determine the timing of Starship’s next launch.
The agency’s accident report has not been released.
SpaceX must also obtain a modified FAA license to launch, which requires a sometimes lengthy review of the spacecraft’s trajectory, the likelihood of an accident and other factors that could affect the safety of the surrounding public.
“Starship is ready for launch and awaiting FAA license approval,” SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk wrote in a Tuesday post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter that Musk is also a member of .