SpaceX Asks for Public Help in Finding Cause of Rocket Explosion


SpaceX has enlisted Twitter’s help in the investigation of the Falcon 9 rocket explosion in Cape Canaveral, Florida. While there were no injuries, the rocket and a communications satellite it was carrying were ruined, and the launchpad was severely damaged. As the space firm tries to piece together what went wrong, it requested people with photos, audio or videos of the explosion to send the materials to the firm.

SpaceX says this rocket explosion is the most difficult and complex failure the company has ever faced

Earlier this month, the Hawthorne, California-based private space firm lost a Falcon 9 rocket on the launchpad in Cape Canaveral. The explosion also destroyed a Facebook satellite (which the rocket was carrying) that was meant to provide internet connectivity to rural Africa. Naturally, the outspoken SpaceX CEO is not taking the incident lightly and has turned to the microblogging site to help his firm determine the cause of the massive fireball.

Elon Musk said that the company has not ruled out a mystery object hitting the rocket, and that the Falcon 9 exploded before it was powered up. The engines were off at the time, with no heat source to trigger the blast. Tech Crunch notes that the request for outside data suggests that SpaceX’s own data must not be very helpful in the investigation.

Musk noted that there was a mysterious bang seconds before the explosion. He said that the cause of the rocket explosion was especially puzzling because it took place during a “routine filling operation.” Elon Musk refused to dismiss the Internet speculation that something hit the rocket. He however, seem to rule out alien involvement.

Elon Musk turned to twitter on Friday to reveal that SpaceX is extremely baffled about what happened and it needs help from the public. The eccentric billionaire was largely silent about the explosion until Friday, when he tweeted saying the issue has been the most complex failure the company has ever faced in 14 years.

The Washington Post notes that the confusion over the cause of the incident stands in contrast to SpaceX’s last failure when the Tesla boss pinpointed the issue shortly after the explosion, revealing that the problem originated from a liquid nitrogen tank. After determining the exact cause of the explosion, the U.S. rocket company returned to flight after six months.

Last week, Israel-based communications satellite operator Spacecom, who lost the AMOS 6 satellite in the explosion, said that it could seek up to $50 million compensation from the U.S. private space agency. Fortune notes that the space firm has not yet disclosed if it had additional insurance plan to cover launchpad or rocket damage beyond the one required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

SpaceX seeks public footage for its rocket explosion probe. It has launched an investigation into the cause of what happened. The company revealed that the Falcon 9 that blew up into a fireball earlier this month is proving to be a very challenging failure. Investigators are considering the possibility that a third-party interference could have caused the incident.

What do you think caused the SpaceX rocket explosion, a UFO, drone, or something else? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. For more CDA News, follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

By Anila Maring

Photo Courtesy SpaceX