SpaceX faces a $175,000 fine for not submitting info ahead of a recent launch

SpaceX is looking at a proposed fine of $175,000 from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after the launch company failed to submit the necessary info around a spacecraft’s trajectory and potential collision analysis data within the requisite period. The FAA said it requires SpaceX to provide that data at least a week before a launch occurs.

The launch in question was specifically a flight of 53 of SpaceX’s own Starlink internet satellites loaded onto a Falcon 9 rocket, which took off on August 19, 2022 from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The dollar amount of the fine is shy of the max civil penalty for this kind of infraction, which tops out at $262,666. The lower amount sought by the agency is due to what it determined was the nature of the incident after investigating the specifics.

SpaceX now has 30 days to respond to the notice, which is the next step in the process once a proposed fine has been issued and the max possible penalty has been set. Note that at this stage, SpaceX technically doesn’t owe the FAA anything — that comes after SpaceX makes its case and the FAA evaluates its fine proposal in light of any info they share, and determine a final actual fine to issue.