SpaceX had to reschedule its rocket launch because a helicopter entered the ‘keep out zone’ with seconds to go — and Elon Musk isn’t happy about it

  • Elon Musk tweeted an aircraft crossed the “keep out zone,” preventing a SpaceX rocket launch.
  • The SpaceX CEO said that the zone is “unreasonably gigantic.”
  • Musk said the rules reflect a “broken” spacefaring regulatory system.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said a SpaceX launch was called off because an aircraft entered the so-called keep out zone.

Musk, who also is CEO of SpaceX, tweeted Tuesday that the “keep out zone” is “unreasonably gigantic,” and since an aircraft entered it, the company was not able to launch its own. 

florida space x launch


He alluded to the fact that those rules reflect a need to update existing regulations around space travel.

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


A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson later told, the website for Orlando’s CBS television affiliate, that the aircraft was a private helicopter that entered the restricted area in the final 11 seconds before launch. The FAA is investigating the incident, the spokesperson said.

SpaceX launches have been canceled in the past under circumstances such as inclement weather. But this could be the first instance in which a launch has been called off due to another aircraft occupying the “keep out zone.” 

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