SpaceX Explosion Being Investigated; Company May Be Grounded For A Year

SpaceX is leading an investigation on its rocket explosion last week.

SpaceX is leading an investigation on its rocket explosion last week.
(USLaunchReport / YouTube)

SpaceX is leading a probe following the company’s rocket explosion last week. While there is not a definite time of how long the investigation will be, the company will be facing sanctions for the mishap .

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SpaceX Leads Investigation

An industry official revealed that the team involved in the rocket explosion investigation will include members from outside the SpaceX company. Though the official has knowledge of the matter, he is not actually authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation, according to the Washington Post.

He added that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will have access to raw data. They can analyze it independently, though SpaceX will lead the investigation. FAA regulations state that launch providers handle investigations when there is no loss of life, injury or outside property damage.

This is the same setup as with the investigation of SpaceX’s rocket explosion last year.

SpaceX May Face One-Year Sanction

According to the Business Insider, Chief Executive Tory Bruno of United Launch Alliance (ULA) said that SpaceX may be grounded for nine to 12 months. He told Reuters that it usually takes that duration to resume space launches after an accident.

He explained that the company has to figure out what went wrong on the rocket. They should be able to actually fix it. Otherwise, they might risk another rocket explosion.

The recent SpaceX accident is the second one for the company within 14 months. The company was grounded for six months for the first rocket explosion. The company is yet to disclose to the public about the extent of its launch pad damage.

Bruno also shared that he called SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell shortly after the accident to extend sympathies and offer help. ULA and SpaceX are fierce rivals in private space missions and launches.

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SpaceX’s Second Rocket Explosion

The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said on Twitter that the explosion last week occurred while the crews were fueling the rocket. The blast may have originated around the upper stages of the spacecraft’s Oxygen tank.

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