Although recovery teams in the Atlantic Ocean have retrieved wreckage from Sunday’s Falcon 9 launch failure, the best clues to the cause of the crash lie in raw data transmitted from the rocket as it disintegrated, SpaceX officials said Wednesday.
Officials with the California-based rocket company said there is no breakthrough in the investigation into the failure, the first mishap in 19 launches by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
“The process for determining the root cause of Sunday’s mishap is complex, and there is no one theory yet that is consistent with the data, ” said John Taylor, a SpaceX spokesperson. “Our engineering teams are heads down reviewing every available piece of flight data as we work through a thorough fault tree analysis in order to identify a root cause.”
SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said Sunday that the Falcon 9 rocket had an “overpressure event” in the launcher’s second stage liquid oxygen tank.
The failure occurred about 139 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, when the Falcon 9’s nine first stage engines were still firing at an altitude of approximately 45 kilometers — 28 miles — while traveling around 5, 000 kilometers per hour, or 3, 100 mph, SpaceX officials said.
The Falcon 9’s first stage continued firing for a few seconds as the upper stage broke apart, spilling a cloud of propellant vapors around the launcher. The U.S. Air Force, which is in charge of public safety at the Cape Canaveral launch range, said safety officers issued destruct commands after the rocket’s mid-air break-up.
The crash destroyed a SpaceX-owned Dragon supply ship bound for the International Space Station.
Within hours, the U.S. Coast Guard and SpaceX mounted a survey for debris in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 miles offshore Florida. Coast Guard officials said the service’s search team dropped a buoy to measure ocean currents to help track the movement of debris.
The Coast Guard released a video, seen below, showing air crews dropping flares in the search zone.
The fragments found so far offer little insight into what happened, and SpaceX officials said engineers are focusing on information radioed to the ground in real-time as the rocket malfunctioned.
SpaceX said the flight data is the “best resource” available to the failure investigation team, which is led by Hans Koenigsmann, the company’s vice president of mission assurance and launch chief engineer.
NASA Commercial Crew Human Spaceflight Program for Transport to the International Space Station (ISS): SpaceX Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Contracts, Safety Reviews, History and Update Reports
eBooks (Progressive Management)
You might also like:
NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: A New Era in Spaceflight - History of International Space Station (ISS) Cargo and Crew, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Bigelow
eBooks (Progressive Management)
Spacex Year Of The Dragon Mouse Pad / Mouse Mat / Mousepad / Mousemat
Office Product (ACESR)
Samsingl Women Spacex Dragon Capsule Flip-flop 5.5 B(m) Us Rubber Colorful
iPhone 6 Plus Case, Spacex - Year Of The Dragon Iphone Customize Photo Case for iPhone 6 Plus 5.5inch with TPU Black Border