SpaceX Aims To Resume Launches On Jan. 8

Posted: Jan 3 2017, 11:51am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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SpaceX Aims to Resume Launches on Jan. 8
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During past four months investigation with space X occurred to find the reason of anomaly that happened on Sep 1 at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The investigation team was fromFederal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. Air Force (USAF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including several industry experts.

The investigation team was developed because of Space X’s accident, and the plan was approved bythe primary federal licensing body, the FAA provided oversight and coordination for the investigation. The investigators studied 3000 channels of video and data including brief timeline events.

The team found that 93 milliseconds from the first sign of anomalous data to the loss of the second stage, followed by loss of the vehicle. The accident happened on the ground, the investigators also found umbilical data, physical debris and ground based video. Different tests by Space X happened at its facilities in Hawthorne, California and McGregor, Texas to see the validity of the investigation findings.

The team investigated through a fault tree analysis, and found that the three COPV’s or the composite overwrapped pressure vessels in the second stage LOX, liquid science failed. The team also found that the failure happened due to gas accumulation of oxygen that occurred between COPV liner, and in a void in the liner, that caused ignition and COPV failure.

Falcon 9’s each stage uses COPVs to store cold helium that maintains tank pressure. Each COPV contains aluminum inner liner with carbon overwrap. Though, buckers did not cause the burst alone, but the highly cold LOX can gather in buckles under the overwrap. Due to pressure the oxygen in buckles is trapped and friction causes ignition that destroys the COPV. The team also found that the helium temperature was so cold that it created solid SOX that caused oxygen traps and friction.

All investigations showed the main cause was an accumulation of super chilled LOX or SOX in the buckles. Changes were required in the COPV configuration for success.

Space X willreturn to flight from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) with the Iridium NEXT launch on January 8.Space X also appreciated the whole investigation.

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