Last week, a congressional delegation with ties to SpaceX competitor ULA issued an open letter to the FAA, criticizing their admittedly fully legal self-directed investigation into the cause of the early September Falcon 9 rocket explosion. Now, a group of 24 bipartisan members of congress have issued a retort.
This letter maintains that SpaceX has conducted the investigation in keeping with the established practice, which is true, and urges the FAA to ignore entreaties it claims aim to “politicize” the investigation, and implies that the purpose of doing so would be to hamper SpaceX’s ability to operate competitively with other, more established players. The new letter is embedded in its entirety below.
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SpaceX’s investigation into the Falcon 9 explosion hasn’t yet identified the exact cause of the explosion, but has said that a helium tank breach resulted in the blast. What remains to be determined now is what actually caused the breach to begin with. SpaceX is said to be investigating sabotage as one potential cause, according to a new Washington Post report, but this appears to be mostly because they aren’t leaving any possibilities out in pursuing their investigation.