SpaceX is still dealing with the aftermath of its Falcon 9 rocket explosion. The unfortunate incident that took place at Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida is proving to be a burden not only to Elon Musk and SpaceX, but also to other companies involved. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was even quoted saying that this is the “most difficult and complex” failure the company has to deal with so far.
On Sept.1, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was being refueled for its scheduled launch on Sept. 3 to carry Facebook’s Internet satellite, Amos-6, to space when it exploded. Reports say that the rocket exploded during the procedure but the cause of the explosion remains unknown until today.
The catastrophic incident forced Musk to ask for the public’s help in investigating the cause of the problem. SpaceX asked for any other videos and images taken of the explosion. “If you have audio, photos or videos of our anomaly last week, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Material may be useful for investigation, ” a SpaceX official said in a Tweet.
If you have audio, photos or videos of our anomaly last week, please send to email@example.com. Material may be useful for investigation
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 9, 2016
SpaceX competitors stated that the company may even face suspension of up to a year due to the incident. That, and SpaceX’s responsibility to Facebook, whose satellite was destroyed together with the rocket, are only some of the issues that Musk and SpaceX have to face. The rocket costs $60 million, while the Israel-made Amos-6 satellite amounts to $200 million. “Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years,” Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX said in a Tweet.
Currently, SpaceX is leading an investigation with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation office. Initial results show that all engines of the rocket were not fired during the fuelling stage; therefore, there are “no apparent heat source” that may have caused the explosion. Reports say that there was a bang heard before the explosion, and it could have originated somewhere else and not from the rocket.
Further investigations are still ongoing and SpaceX still has not yet revealed the total amount of damages incurred by the explosion. Photographs of the wrecked booster at the launch pad already surfaced, but experts say the launch pad is the least of the problem for SpaceX today.
SpaceX has a lineup of commercial and government space missions amounting to $10 billion. “We remain fully confident in the results of [that] investigation… The current investigation has no bearing on this,” SpaceX spokesman Dex Torricke-Barton said in an email to Reuters.
Meanwhile, some of SpaceX’s customers remain hopeful that the company will be able to resolve the issue and proceed with its scheduled launch at the soonest time possible.
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