After finishing the investigation of the previous explosion, SpaceX is bound to launch Falcon rocket again, on January 8th. It has passed approximately three months since the disaster which blew up a $200 million satellite. The new launch date was included in the report about the explosion of Falcon 9 rocket. The file about the incident on September 1st at Cape Canaveral also included further steps which were to follow if the initial plan failed.
The investigation has involved officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, NASA, the US Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration. They have all examined physical debris, telemetry data, and approximately 3,000 videos to establish the cause of the terrible incident.
The accident happened when cold helium caused the rapid cool of aluminum and carbon fibers at different rates during the second stage of the rocket’s launching process. This incident resulted in the opening of two gaps which occurred between two overwrap layers, where there was a leak of liquid oxygen. This leak determined one of the protective layers to fail.
SpaceX pointed out that static caused the trapped oxygen to explode causing a series of other catastrophic blasts. That space rocket was bound to launch an AMOS-6 satellite for a joint venture of Facebook-Eutelsat. This satellite was prone to offer internet access to all those people living in underserved areas of the planet.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook declared himself profoundly disappointed by this failure, but he promised that his collaboration with SpaceX would continue developing the plan that they prepared trying to help the rest of the world benefit from the support of Internet.
On January 2nd, Elon Musk, the one who runs SpaceX, noted that his engineers managed to reevaluate the configuration of helium containers on the Falcon rocket, modifying helium’s temperature and also disabling overloading in the overwrap layer. If the new methods adopted prove to be successful, then the next launch will take place this Sunday, as scheduled.
On January 8th, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, SpaceX will launch ten satellites into Earth’s orbit to replace and upgrade some of the component parts in the Iridium Communications satellite constellation. This is known to be a system of about 66 satellites meant to enable data and voice coverage all over the globe.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia