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NASA Scolds Elon Musk’s SpaceX Over ‘Serious Challenges’ Facing Launch Schedules

Tim Frederick

Nasa is pressuring SpaceX and its embattled CEO Elon Musk to fix rocket design and safety issues that could keep the U.S space program grounded firmly on Earth.

The government space agency took SpaceX to task in its 2018 annual report released this month, noting four “key risks” to the rocket and capsule system designed by Musk and his staff, according to Reuters. Those and other risks present “serious challenges” to SpaceX’s launch schedule, including a possible manned flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft this summer.

One of those risks is SpaceX’s rocket canister, which has been redesigned since one caused a devastating explosion in 2016 after bursting inside a Falcon 9 rocket’s liquid oxygen tank. The eruption during routine pre-flight testing destroyed the rocket and its $200 million cargo: a Spacecom communications satellite.

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