SpaceX working toward Falcon 9 diagnosis ahead of treatment

November 27, 2017 – 09:24 am

?SpaceX is deep into an internal mishap investigation following the loss during First Stage flight of a Falcon 9 rocket with the CRS-7 Dragon. While the Second Stage is considered to be the main culprit for the failure, investigators are currently gathering data to reconstruct the final moments of Falcon 9’s flight as recovery teams attempt to retrieve the rocket’s remains to further aid the fault tree data.

Recovering from Falcon 9’s Bad Day:

The loss of the CRS-7 mission is a harsh reminder that space flight is hard.

SpaceX has become the rock star of the rocket industry, with a massive global fan base and an ability – despite its relatively young age – to collaborate and compete with the veteran space industry in its area of business.

Engine 1 issueHowever, they are no strangers to challenges as the company began its tenure in the space launch business with mishaps, as three Falcon 1 flights in succession failed to successfully complete their missions.

SpaceX entered the operational scene with a debut launch in 2006, as its Falcon 1 finally launched from Omelek Island on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

On board was the FalconSat-2 spacecraft for the US Air Force. However, the maiden flight suffered a First Stage engine failure, resulting in the rocket nose-diving into the water.

2015-07-04-021121On the third flight, control of the rocket was lost after recontact between the First and Second Stages occurred during separation. The Department of Defense’s Trailblazer satellite was lost in the failure, as were NASA’s PRESat and NanoSail-D CubeSats and a Celestis space burial payload.

At the time of the third failure, the future of SpaceX was in doubt, per Elon Musk. However, the company pressed on.

Z741Finally, with the fourth Falcon launch – on 28 September 2008 – success came to SpaceX, with the Falcon 1 successfully placing a demonstration payload, nicknamed RatSat, into orbit. This success paved the way for the launch of Malaysia’s RazakSAT in July 2009, which was also successful.

“SpaceX is in this for the long haul, and come hell or high water, we are going to make this work.”

The V1.0 version of the Falcon 9 only suffered from one notable issue during its first five missions, when the number 1 engine failed approximately 79 seconds after launch during the CRS-1/SpX-1 Dragon mission.

The issue was caused by a loss of pressure in the engine and a corresponding command from Falcon 9’s control computer to shut the engine down.

While debris was seen falling from the rocket, the debris was most likely part of a fairing designed to protect the engines from aerodynamic loads and not part of the failed engine itself.

Test Abort 2015-07-04-025034 2014-12-16 21_34_17-L2 Level_ SpaceX F9_FH_BFR_MCT Renderings SpaceX CRS-7 Launch Side by Side


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  • avatar What is the Falcon 9 rocket?
    • On May 19th 2012 the SpaceX company will launch their Falcon 9 rocket with their Dragon cargo capsule into space on a mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. As the first private-sector space exploration company, they are hoping to prove their design will work.