Did SpaceX Try Hiding An Employee’s Life-Threatening Injuries At Its Facility?

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Did SpaceX Try Hiding An Employee’s Life-Threatening Injuries?

SpaceX is always in the news, be it for putting satellites in orbit, ferrying astronauts to the ISS, or testing rockets for NASA’s ambitious space missions. The private space company is sweeping headlines again but for the wrong reasons. SpaceX has reportedly kept mum about a horrific accident that severely injured an employee. It also raises concern about human lives being at play at big private space firms.

 

In January, a SpaceX employee sustained life-threatening injuries after an over-pressurized valve exploded while performing a routine check on SpaceX Raptor engines. The space company hasn’t acknowledged the incident publicly yet.

SpaceX Staying Mum On The Matter

Francisco Cabada has served the Elon Musk-led company for a decade. On January 18, he suffered serious head injuries alongside respiratory system complications after the severe accident. The incident was recently reported by the news outlet Semafor.

While Cabada is out of the months-long coma, he will require medical assistance for the rest of his life. SpaceX was charged $18,475 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violating two safety norms.

What’s more concerning is that the space company didn’t make any “announcement to the public or to its workers about [Cadaba's] status," former employees told Semafor. The former employees are also worried that Cabada’s family might not be compensated for his inability to work in the future.

Currently, the victim’s family is dependent on the charity of his colleagues who have donated more than $52,000 to their GoFundMe page.

Are Space Companies Ignoring Employee Safety?

The case also unmasks the driving philosophy behind major private space firms including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which might have repeatedly ignored the safety of their workers.

In 2021, a group of former and working employees of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin said the company’s rocket isn’t safe enough, and they wouldn’t want to fly aboard it. In an open letter, the employees said the company’s leadership has ignored employees’ safety in favor of speeding up the New Shepard rocket’s launch.

The race to dominate commercial space tourism is also cited as one of the reasons why the safety of many Blue Origin rockets was suppressed. While SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic continue to fight for domination in space, the safety of their employees might be getting ignored.

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