Elon Musk: SpaceX Falcon Rocket Explosion Due To Metal Strut Failure (VIDEO)

December 14, 2017 – 09:50 am

Elon MuskThe result of the preliminary investigation of the explosion of an unmanned rocket owned by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, on June 28 was announced Monday in a news conference. Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, revealed that it was triggered by a structural failure, adding that ship could have been saved had its parachute been deployed, CNBC reported.

The unmanned rocket called Falcon 9 was carrying at least 4, 000 pounds of cargo that included supplies, equipments and the robotic Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. It exploded two minutes after its lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, as HNGN reported earlier.

"I think to some degree, the company as a whole became maybe a little bit complacent, " Musk told the New York Times in an interview. He explained that based on the investigation, the problem started in the rocket's metal strut, which secured a helium bottle found on the second-stage liquid oxygen tank. The strut broke after sustaining 2, 000 pounds of force, an anomaly given that it was designed to withstand up to 10, 000 pounds. This led to the displacement of the bottle and the release of helium into the oxygen tank, causing the explosion. The investigation involved testing Falcon's hundreds of metal struts, which eventually revealed the flaw. The struts were manufactured by a third party supplier, which Musk refused to identify, according to a Wired report.

Musk has emphasized that the findings are initial assessments and a little speculative in nature, but he promised that SpaceX will redesign the struts and individually test them in the future to avoid the same accident.

The doomed Falcon 9 flight would have been SpaceX's 19th to the space station, a feat considered remarkable for a new rocket design, according to the New York Times. For this reason, NASA has been increasingly relying on SpaceX to take cargo, and possibly astronauts in the future, to the space station. It is not known if the recent rocket failure will have any bearing on this arrangement.

Source: www.hngn.com

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