SEP 23, 2016 03:42 PM PDT

SpaceX May Have Figured Out Why its Falcon 9 Rocket Exploded

An ongoing investigation into what happened that caused a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to explode while docked at the Cape Canaveral launch site at the beginning of the month may finally be turning up some useful results.
 

An ongoing investigation into a SpaceX rocket explosion at the beginning of September is turning up some useful results.

 
A team of highly-trained experts are looking into the cause, called The Accident Investigation Team (AIT). According to SpaceX, the AIT is made up of incredible people from SpaceX, the FAA, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, as well as various industry experts.
 
Although a high-definition video released on the internet revealed what looked like an attack on the rocket by something flying very quickly over the payload just as the explosion took place, SpaceX thinks it may actually have been related to a breach in the cryogenic helium system instead.
 
“At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and debris suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place, SpaceX said in a statement online. “All plausible causes are being tracked in an extensive fault tree and carefully investigated.”
 
At the time of the explosion, the rocket’s engines weren’t running and there was no apparent heat source, so it has been on the most confusing explosions CEO Elon Musk has had to try and explain in his 14 years with the team.
 
SpaceX’s launch pad was damaged during the explosion, which means SpaceX is probably grounded for several more months until it can be rebuilt to expected standards. Moreover, the $200m satellite that was attached to the rocket was also destroyed in the explosion.
 
Fortunately, lots of the launch pad remains in relatively good condition, so SpaceX hopes to be launching rockets again as early as November. Getting their systems back up and running is very important to the commercial space company since NASA will be relying on them, along with Boeing, to start ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
 
Source: SpaceX via Business Insider

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 30, 2018
Infographics
MAY 30, 2018
How Big Are We in Relation to Space?
When you hear the phrase "life-sized," what comes to mind? Most people think of things comparatively-sized to themselves, but the observable univ...
JUN 25, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUN 25, 2018
NASA Will Study Jupiter's Great Red Spot with the James Webb Space Telescope
Astronomers have been studying Jupiter’s Great Red Spot for decades, and it continues to captivate their attention even today. Several modern observa...
JUL 24, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 24, 2018
Mars is About to Make its Closest Approach to Earth in 15 Years
If you look up into the night sky from July 27th to July 31st, then you might see what appears to be an ultra-luminous star. But we warned – that&rsq...
AUG 20, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 20, 2018
Martian Dust Storm Begins Clearing, Sparking Hope for the Opportunity Rover
Back in June, Mars became enveloped by a planet-wide dust storm. The dust from the storm blocked so much sunlight that NASA felt compelled to put its solar...
SEP 11, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 11, 2018
Asteroid Mining Could Make Deep Space Missions Possible
  Deep space missions are faced with several challenges, including human safety and resource limitations, but asteroid mining could potentially solve...
SEP 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 17, 2018
How Common Are Planetary Collisions?
Outer space is nothing short of a galactic free-for-all. Space rocks fly in virtually every direction, sporadically impacting larger objects like moons, pl...
Loading Comments...