Lost limbs, coma, and death: SpaceX has become the most traumatic space company

SpaceX is ready for the next test flight of its Super Heavy rocket with the Starship spacecraft, which is installed on the launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas. The launch date was uncertain due to various bureaucratic obstacles. Recently, the company announced on social network X that the date of the second flight was set for November 17. The only thing left to do is to get permission from the FAA and FWS in time.

Космічний корабель Starship на прискорювачі Super Heavy
Starship spacecraft on the Super Heavy accelerator. Photo: SpaceX

Activity around the Starship rocket increased at the end of last month when SpaceX unexpectedly conducted a dress rehearsal for the launch. During this test, the company filled the rocket with a thousand liters of fuel and oxidizer to create launch-like conditions. SpaceX also tested a water fire extinguishing system at the launch pad to obtain certification from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Starship preparing to launch as early as November 17, pending final regulatory approval → https://t.co/bJFjLCiTbK pic.twitter.com/qRKv9ugWsR

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 11, 2023

SpaceX promises that Starship will be ready for launch on November 17, if it receives regulatory approval. Such a close launch date probably indicates that regulatory approval is “just around the corner.”

Injuries at SpaceX

The tentative Starship launch date came after Reuters published a report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This report lifted the veil on the high level of injuries at SpaceX facilities in Texas. The report reveals hundreds of injuries and one fatality at the space company’s Texas facility. The publication notes that SpaceX’s industry injury rates are significantly higher than those at other aerospace companies.

Технік працює над ракетою SpaceX Starship

A technician works constructing a SpaceX Starship rocket. The company has recently been criticized for its weak safety culture. Image: SpaceX

Records of workplace injuries included reports of more than 100 workers who sustained cuts or lacerations, 29 with broken bones or dislocations, 17 with “crushed” hands or fingers, and nine with head injuries, including one skull fracture, four concussions, and one head injury that resulted in a coma.

Accidents also included five burns, five electric shocks, eight accidents resulting in amputations and seven workers with eye injuries. Others were relatively minor, including more than 170 reports of sprains or strains.

SpaceX has acknowledged the problems, and the agency has directed the company to make seven specific safety improvements, including training and equipment improvements, according to the inspection report.

SpaceX looks to the future

Launching the world’s largest rocket into orbit is crucial for SpaceX. As it awaits for permission for the second Starship flight from the FWS and FAA, SpaceX is already looking to the future. If the second Starship test is successful, SpaceX may even conduct a third Starship orbital test flight in December.

Earlier, we reported how Starship was recognized as safe, but the launch permit has not yet been granted.

Based on the materials of wccftech.com