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FAA taking charge of SpaceX rocket explosion investigation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will take over the investigation into an explosion that destroyed a SpaceX rocket during a test flight on Tuesday, the agency said.

CNN reported that an FAA spokesperson confirmed the investigation and said it would identify the "root cause" behind the craft's explosion upon landing in Texas.

"The FAA's top priority in regulating commercial space transportation is ensuring that operations are safe, even if there is an anomaly," the agency spokesperson said, according to CNN.

"The FAA will oversee the investigation of today's landing mishap involving the SpaceX Starship SN9 prototype in Boca Chica, Texas. Although this was an uncrewed test flight, the investigation will identify the root cause of today's mishap and possible opportunities to further enhance safety as the program develops," the spokesperson added.

Representatives for SpaceX and the FAA did not immediately return a request for comment. The company has not commented publicly on the explosion but said in a tweet that it was planning future launches.

Now targeting two Falcon 9 launches of Starlink satellites on Thursday, February 4, pending range acceptance and recovery weather conditions. First Falcon 9 launch at 1:19 a.m. EST from SLC-40, followed by another Falcon 9 launch ~4 hours later at 5:36 a.m. EST from LC-39A — SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 3, 2021

SpaceX owner Elon Musk announced a Twitter break on Tuesday following the crash, and has not commented publicly on the incident.

Last month, he made headlines when he publicly accused competitor Amazon of using federal regulations to hamstring SpaceX in the interest of pursuing its own satellite program.

This article originally appeared on The Hill

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