Republican Congressmen question SpaceX’s investigation

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The knives are out: Ten Republican House members have sent a letter to the Air Force, FAA, and NASA questioning whether SpaceX should lead the investigation into its September 1 launchpad explosion.

The Congress members said the investigation responses raised “serious concerns about the authority provided to commercial providers and the protection of national space assets…. Although subject to FAA oversight, it can be asserted the investigation lacked the openness taxpayers would expect before a return-to-flight,” the letter says. “We feel strongly that the current investigation should be led by NASA and the Air Force to ensure that proper investigative engineering rigor is applied and that the outcomes are sufficient to prevent NASA and military launch mishaps in the future.”

…The letter also includes a list of questions for each agency including whether the Air Force will reconsider certification of the Falcon 9 rocket for national security launches; whether NASA will reevaluate the use of the Falcon 9 rocket for its commercial resupply and upcoming commercial crew missions; and whether the FAA would reconsider issuing licenses to SpaceX after its September launch pad explosion.

More details here, including the letter’s full text. Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), whose district interestingly includes ULA’s headquarters, is heading this attack.

I find this a typical example of why conservatives are disgusted with the Republican Party. It claims it stands for private enterprise and less regulation, but the first chance these guys get, they demand more government control in order to benefit the crony companies they support. Nothing in this letter will make SpaceX’s operations safer. The only thing any of its demands will accomplish if enforced will be to damage the company, thus aiding its competitor ULA.


  • Andrew_W

    From wiki: “There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. ”

    Can the real Conservatives please stand up – whereupon the entire Republican Party stands up.

    My own take is that as Conservatives stand for the status quo, so supporting a continuation of the dominance of old space is being conservative, conservatives also stand against social change and change involving increased freedom of international trade.

  • wayne

    Congressman Mike Coffman—
    His liberty Score at Conservative Review, is 58%, and he’s up for re-election.
    How the guy portrays himself as a ‘republican,’ is beyond me.

    The sentence “…authority provided to commercial providers…” says it all;
    — Commercial providers are ‘allowed’ by the Feds to conduct business.
    and… “…investigation lacked the openness taxpayers would expect before a return-to-flight..”

    Huh? The whole damn federal government “lacks the openness taxpayers would expect.”

    What is your obsession with redefining words, to fit your own agenda?
    Do you really think that 30% of the Population who self-identify as Conservatives, don’t actually know what it means, because you alone know the “correct definition,” ‘cuz you got it off the internet?

  • Phill O

    Bob. I see your point about the lack of enthusiasm for the Republican party. There is a growing global movement to a more “Tea Party” type body. The Brexit vote might be the first indicator of the global trend. Saskatchewan has the Saskatchewan Party as a government, which is on the “Tea Party” type agenda. The economy is dong the best in Canada right now. Alberta has the Wildrose Party that is close to a majority.

    Should Trump win, it will be due in a large part to the disenfranchisement with the standard parties. (IMO)

  • Andrew_W

    “Do you really think that 30% of the Population who self-identify as Conservatives,” I’m pointing out that a big chunk of those self identifying Conservatives would be dismissed as Conservatives by another big chunk, and yes, that’s very common, lots of Libertarians would dismiss other peoples claims to being Libertarian, ditto with other political labels, which is essentially my point. I don’t see Robert’s claim to being a true Conservative as more valid that those Republican representatives he dismisses as being Conservatives.

  • PeterF

    Looks like a power grab from where I’m sitting. But then again, I’ve been reading “One Year After” by William Forstchen.

  • wayne


    You really are, a devious little troll, aren’t you?

  • Edward

    Wayne asked our resident troll: “What is your obsession with redefining words, to fit your own agenda?”

    Strangely, this is the same person who told us that he took an online test and determined that he was a conservative, yet — like Trump — he is unable to define or explain conservativism. Even his own answer to your question points out that he redefines the word at his own whim. Essentially, his point is that he should be allowed to declare anyone to be not a conservative, but we are not allowed to question his loyalty to his changing definition of his own conservativism, that he wants to eat the cake and have it, too.

    Everyone who disagrees with his “truth du jour” is wrong, but he is always right, no matter how much his position changes from day to day — usually depending upon whatever “interesting” thing he found on the internet, each day.

    Thus, to complain about government once again grabbing power from We the People is to be wrong, in his mind, because handing over power is part of today’s definition of conservative, in his mind.

    Meanwhile, these idiot congresscritters think that they know more about accident investigation than those who do it for a living. I would not be surprised if some of these congresscritters were, in actuality, complaining that no one was investigating the coincidence of the birds flying through various camera fields of view. Because who would expect birds to fly through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge?

  • Commodude

    ULA’s actions are no different than any other defense contractor. Why is their HQs in Colorado? Why do Boeing and LockMart have offices in almost every Congressional district? Because it allows BoeLockMartNorthGrumm to threaten jobs in the congressional district, bringing the good Congressman to heel.

    Evidently the money spent in Rep. Coffman’s district is well spent.

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