As the investigation into what might have caused the explosion of Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket, CEO Elon Musk announced some preliminary results.
According to Elon Musk, the rocket’s failure was part technical, part human error. A strut purchased from a second party is believed to have snapped and caused Falcon 9 to disintegrate.
The strut, purchased from a subcontractor was supporting a helium bottle located in the second stage of the rocket, where the explosion took place.
The strut was only installed on Falcon 9 in the premises of Space X. According to Elon Musk’s statement, Falcon 9’s explosion could have been partly the fault of Space X personnel. The company’s success translated in a growing number of employees as well: from 500 in 2008 to 4,000 workers now.
“Most people at the company today have only ever seen success. When you’ve only ever seen success, you don’t fear failure quite as much”,
commented Mr. Musk, indicating that repeated success might have prompted employees to be more lax about quality control.
Following the explosion of Falcon 9, all of Space X rockets have been momentarily grounded until the full investigation takes its course and all possible factors are unraveled. Falcon 9 would have been launched on its seventh mission to the International Space Station where the crew awaits supplies.
The next launch is bound to be delayed, yet only by ‘a few months’ according to Elon Musk. With the early findings at hand, every strut installed on Space X rockets is now undergoing thorough quality control checks beyond the subcontractor provided certifications.
50 more launched are planned for Space X rockets in the near future. Missions from NASA, U.S. Air Force, satellite companies and foreign governments have lined up due to the company’s strength and potential. As one launch is estimated at 7 million dollars, the holdup will probably cost Space X a few hundreds of millions of dollars.
What stands out is that partners did not lose faith in Space X and have shown a great amount of support, according to Elon Musk.
The cargo aboard the Falcon 9 rocket was worth 110 million dollars and included food, equipment, one spacesuit and other supplies needed on the International Space Station. According to the CEO of Space X, most of the cargo could have been saved provided the cargo ship had been featuring software allowing it to deploy emergency parachutes.
This software has already been installed on one Space X shuttle and will certainly be installed on future rockets deployed in cargo missions.
The investigation team on the explosion of Falcon 9 includes Space X personnel, as well as NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Photo Credits americaspace.com
Latest posts by Christina Langfold (see all)
- Scientists Discover the Second Fastest Spinning Pulsar In The Universe - Sep 9, 2017
- Coral Reef Damage Scares Florida Keys Researchers and Businesses - Jun 26, 2017
- Nike to Slash Global Workforce by 1,400 - Jun 16, 2017