Elon Musk calls rocket launch regulations ‘broken’ after SpaceX delay

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Elon Musk lashed out at US rocket launch regulations, calling them “broken” after SpaceX’s latest mission was delayed due to an aircraft that entered the launch zone.

“Unfortunately, launch is called off for today, as an aircraft entered the ‘keep out zone’, which is unreasonably gigantic,” Musk wrote Tuesday afternoon in a tweet.

“There is simply no way that humanity can become a spacefaring civilization without major regulatory reform. The current regulatory system is broken,” he added.

It’s far from the first time that Musk has taken aim at regulators.

After a test flight for SpaceX’s Starship, which the company hopes will one day take humans to Mars, was delayed in January, Musk similarly lashed out at the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure,” Musk tweeted then. “Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.”

Beyond the FAA, Musk has also clashed with other government agencies.

He hung up on the head of the National Transportation Safety Board in 2018 during a phone call about a fatal car crash involving a Tesla Model X, Bloomberg reported.

And another of Musk’s companies, Tesla, had to settle a case with the SEC in 2018 that alleged Musk had committed fraud by tweeting that he had “funding secured” to take the company private at $420 a share.

But despite the sometimes public clashes with regulators, Musk took to Twitter in April to say that he agrees with them “99.9% of the time.” 

“On rare occasions, we disagree,” Musk tweeted at the time. “This is almost always due to new technologies that past regulations didn’t anticipate.”

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