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      FAA says SpaceX has more to do before Starship can fly again

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September, 2023 - 19:40

    A discolored plume of exhaust was visible beneath the Super Heavy booster's Raptor engines on the Starship rocket's April 20 test flight, a likely indication of a propellant leak or fire in the engine compartment.

    Enlarge / A discolored plume of exhaust was visible beneath the Super Heavy booster's Raptor engines on the Starship rocket's April 20 test flight, a likely indication of a propellant leak or fire in the engine compartment. (credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images )

    The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it has closed an investigation into the problems SpaceX encountered on its first full-scale Starship test launch in April, but federal regulators won't yet give a green light for the next Starship flight.

    "The closure of the mishap investigation does not signal an immediate resumption of Starship launches at Boca Chica," the FAA said in a statement, referring to the location of SpaceX's Starship launch facility at Boca Chica Beach in South Texas.

    The nearly 400-foot-tall Starship rocket, the largest ever built, is standing on its launch pad in Texas for the upcoming test flight, which could happen before the end of this month, pending FAA approval.

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      YouTuber who crashed plane admits he did it for money and views

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 12 May, 2023 - 19:39 · 1 minute

    Screenshot from Trevor Jacob's YouTube video "I Crashed My Airplane."

    Enlarge / Screenshot from Trevor Jacob's YouTube video "I Crashed My Airplane." (credit: TrevorJacob on YouTube )

    A YouTuber who deliberately crashed a plane to "gain notoriety and make money" has agreed to plead guilty to obstructing a federal investigation, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday. In his plea agreement, California pilot Trevor Jacob admitted to "deliberately destroying" the plane wreckage and repeatedly lying to officials.

    The crimes of destruction and concealment with intent to impede a federal investigation carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a potential fine of up to $250,000. The Los Angeles district court may impose a lesser sentence due to the plea deal, though.

    Jacob is scheduled to appear in court in the coming weeks, the DOJ reported. A DOJ public information officer, Ciaran McEvoy, told Ars that Jacob has not yet pleaded guilty. After an initial court appearance—essentially a bond hearing—a change of plea hearing will be scheduled. If Jacob pleads guilty at that hearing, a federal judge will schedule a sentencing hearing several months later. From there, Jacob would meet with the US Probation Office, which will draft a confidential pre-sentencing report recommending the sentence that the office thinks he deserves. Jacob and the prosecutors can either agree or disagree with that sentencing report, and then, ultimately, a judge will determine what sentence is imposed.

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      Environmental groups sue the FAA over SpaceX launch from Texas

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 May, 2023 - 20:06

    SpaceX's Starship launch site is located in coastal South Texas.

    Enlarge / SpaceX's Starship launch site is located in coastal South Texas. (credit: SpaceX)

    Several environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday, saying that the agency had not sufficiently regulated the launch of SpaceX's Starship rocket from South Texas.

    In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, DC, the groups say that the FAA failed to account for the damage caused by testing and launching the Starship rocket, which results in "intense heat, noise, and light that adversely affects surrounding habitat areas and communities, which included designated critical habitat for federally protected species as well as National Wildlife Refuge and State Park lands."

    During the initial launch of the Starship rocket, on April 20, the environmental organizations say the launch "scattered debris and ash over a large area," including adjacent lands that provide a habitat for endangered species.

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      This software aims to make your flight smoother—and help the planet

      WIRED · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 2 October, 2021 - 11:40

    So many airplanes are in line on the runway waiting for take off. These Air Force planes are part of Operation stop service to transport in Covid-19 situation.

    Enlarge / So many airplanes are in line on the runway waiting for take off. These Air Force planes are part of Operation stop service to transport in Covid-19 situation. (credit: Naruecha Jenthaisong | Getty Images)

    Fastening the seat belt buckle and knowing your flight is on its way to its destination: Nice. Getting stuck in a tarmac traffic jam and waiting for your flight to take off: Not so nice. Turns out the wait is also not nice for the planet.

    Flying in an airplane is already one of the most emissions-intensive things you can do. Globally, aviation produced over 1 billion tons of carbon emissions in 2019 , more than 2 percent of all human-generated emissions—more than either shipping or rail. Aircraft engines also emit nitrogen oxides, soot particles, and water vapor, which also contribute to warming the planet.

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      What’s really going on with Elon Musk, the FAA, and Starship?

      Eric Berger · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 29 January, 2021 - 21:39

    Starship prototype SN9 has not launched yet.

    Enlarge / Starship prototype SN9 has not launched yet. (credit: SpaceX)

    There were moments of high drama on Thursday afternoon, and again Friday morning, in South Texas. For two days in a row, SpaceX evacuated the handful of residents remaining in Boca Chica Village. Sheriff's deputies cleared beaches and closed roads. And at the company's launch site, a Starship rocket prototype underwent preparations for launch.

    The vehicle was ready, with ground equipment venting away. The winds were light. And then—nothing. As the hours ticked by, the rocket remained on the ground. Unfortunately for SpaceX, the Federal Aviation Administration had not given its final approval to launch. It all made for quite a South Texas Showdown.

    SpaceX, which officially said it was targeting a launch attempt on Thursday, has not publicly commented on what happened. Nor has the FAA provided specifics on what transpired, other than offering a generic statement : “We will continue working with SpaceX to resolve outstanding safety issues before we approve the next test flight.”

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      US regulator clears Boeing’s 737 Max to fly again

      Financial Times · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 18 November, 2020 - 14:39

    A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, on June 29, 2020.

    Enlarge / A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, on June 29, 2020. (credit: Jason Redmond | Getty Images)

    The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an order on Wednesday to allow Boeing’s 737 Max to return to the skies, clearing the way for other regulators to follow and airlines to restore the plane to their schedules.

    The move by US regulators, which had been expected, marks the beginning of the end of the worst crisis in Boeing’s century-long history. Two 737 Max crashes killed 346 people, and afterwards destroyed billions in Boeing’s market value, led to the departure of former chief executive Dennis Muilenburg and tarnished the reputation of one of the most storied US manufacturers.

    The FAA is requiring that Boeing change flight control software, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, which was a critical factor in the two fatal crashes which happened within five months. The software will be unable to activate repeatedly and can only do so with input from two sensors, instead of just one. The agency is also requiring changes to the plane’s wiring.

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      Boeing hid design flaws in 737 Max jets from pilots and regulators

      Financial Times · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 - 14:32 · 1 minute

    A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. A congressional report found a "disturbing pattern of technical miscalculations and troubling management misjudgments made by Boeing"with regard to the 737 Max.

    Enlarge / A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. A congressional report found a "disturbing pattern of technical miscalculations and troubling management misjudgments made by Boeing"with regard to the 737 Max. (credit: Jason Redmond | Getty Images)

    Boeing hid design flaws in its 737 Max jet from both pilots and regulators as it raced to have the airplane certified as fit to fly, according to a damning congressional report into why two of the aircraft crashed within months of each other last year, killing 346 people.

    The report by the US House of Representatives transport committee found the US aircraft maker cut corners and pressured regulators to overlook aspects of its new design in its attempts to catch up with European rival Airbus. It also accused US regulators of being too concerned with pleasing the company to exercise proper oversight.

    The report said: “[The two crashes] were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the [Federal Aviation Administration]—the pernicious result of regulatory capture on the part of the FAA with respect to its responsibilities to perform robust oversight of Boeing and to ensure the safety of the flying public.

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