Update on the Falcon 9 launchpad explosion investigation


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The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today describing the investigation into last week’s Falcon 9 launchpad explosion, noting especially how — despite participation by the FAA, NASA, and the Air Force — SpaceX will be entirely in charge of the investigation, in accordance with present law.

The article is clearly lobbying for a change, whereby the government would have more power in these investigations. I personally think a change would be a mistake, that the law as it is now is how it should be. It was their rocket that exploded. Their business model depends on their rockets not exploding. Thus, they have the greatest self-interest in fixing the problem. The other outside players might be helpful, but their presence can only in the long run make things more difficult and slow things down, without making anything better.

4 comments

  • Tom Billings

    With an article written by Andy Pasztor, it’s no oddity it leans against SpaceX having more freedom of action to get the job done. Pasztor is an example of journalistic capture by the establishment hierarchies, political and otherwise, par excellance. I meet too many people who cannot give up the idea that what is needed at every step is just a little more control by the people they can get info from. Other people’s freedom of action is not their friend in their job, and they will always lean towards what helps themselves.

  • Localfluff

    The last launch failure was a NASA mission with their involvement. So I guess it will be cleared up much much sooner than in a half year this time. Things happen much faster when you’ve got an entrepreneur saying: “Hey! This is MY monies!”

  • Michael

    “It was their rocket that exploded. Their business model depends on their rockets not exploding. Thus, they have the greatest self-interest in fixing the problem…”

    That may be a concept too difficult for government bureaucrats to digest.

  • Max

    You guys nailed it! Government takes every tragedy and turns it to its own advantage. The first thing they say to themselves is “how can I benefit from this”, what good is all this power if I can’t use it? I’m sure it’s inscribed in granite somewhere the immortal words “never let a crisis go to waste”

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