Most people don’t ask to be sued, but SpaceX has applied to be named a co-defendant in a suit against the FAA by several environmental groups. As we reported earlier, the groups, led by the Center for Biological Diversity, allege the agency rushed the permitting process for the test launch of the massive Starship system, and therein lies SpaceX’s interest in the case. “If the Court were to rule in Plaintiffs’ favor … the Starship/Super Heavy Program could be significantly delayed, causing severe injury to SpaceX’s business,” SpaceX said in its petition. “SpaceX has a direct and substantial economic interest in the outcome of this case that the government does not share.”
When the 390-foot rocket launched in late April it blew the launch pad to pieces and stirred up thousands of tons of dust, coating an area of south Texas about six miles wide with a layer of grime. The rocket was deliberately blown up when the two stages failed to separate. SpaceX says it’s fixing the launch issues and it doesn’t want another full safety and environmental assessment ordered. The environmental groups raised no objection to SpaceX jumping in and said it’s actually common practice in cases like this.