Elon Musk: SpaceX still looking into why Falcon 9 exploded
SpaceX is no where near finding the reason behind the explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket on June 28, which was carrying critical supplies for astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
While speaking at a webcast International Space Station research and development conference in Boston, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the loss of Falcon 9 is a huge blow for SpaceX and that they take missions incredibly seriously.
SpaceX hasn’t provided any information about any possible reason as to why its Falcon 9 rocket exploded about 2-1/2 minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX plans to take its findings to the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees US commercial launches, NASA and some customers to see if an outside eye can help resolve the conundrum.
Musk said at the conference that they are finding it quite difficult to interpret and whatever may have happened is not a simple straightforward thing to find out.
“We want to see if we can get to what the most likely root cause is, look at both what we think most likely happened, and then anything that’s a close call and try to address all of those things and maximize probability of success for future missions,” Musk said.
Hinting at the possibility of an overpressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank, the SpaceX CEO didn’t divulge more information about the accident, he did say that more information is expected soon – possibly by the end of the week.
Musk did say that they didn’t have any clear theory that fits all the data they have analysed so far.
Falcon 9’s loss isn’t a solitary one as prior to SpaceX’s attempt to resupply the ISS, there have been other string of failures including loss of Russian Progress spacecraft in April. Prior to that Orbital ATK flight was also botched and they have been grounded for now.
Though the accidents have no immediate impacts on the station, SpaceX is probably at the receiving end because it already has a backlog of 50 Falcon rocket launches on its schedule, worth more than $7 billion.
The company said after the accident it hopes to be back flying within the next several months.