Space X Blames Falcon 9 Explosion To Breach In a Helium Pressurization System

Even as SpaceX continue to work towards the root cause of the failure of its Falcon 9 rocket during a Static Fire test, they have at present blamed the on-pad explosion to sudden catastrophic breach in a helium pressurization system.


Pictures from Sept. 1 Space X explosion. The NY Post.

Pictures from Sept. 1 Space X explosion. The NY Post.

The failure, which destroyed the Space X rocket along with the Amos-6 satellite, had originated in the second stage LOX tank’s helium pressurization system, although the specific cause of the anomaly is not yet fully understood by Space X and they are hopeful to fully understand it by their next launch in November.

“At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and debris suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place.”

Though no details were provided in their statement, Space X on September 23 said the September 1 explosion was reviewed by the company and a “fault tree” analysis showed that the “unspecified problem” was “not related” to the internal strut failure that released a second stage helium pressurization bottle during a June 28, 2015, launch.

“All plausible causes are being tracked in an extensive fault tree and carefully investigated. Through the fault tree and data review process, we have exonerated any connection with last year’s … mishap.”

While the second stage helium system was involved in this explosion, a different failure mode apparently was the reason behind it.


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