SpaceX Pad Blast Considered A Major Failure, Increases Challenges: Elon Musk

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s, popularly known as SpaceX, Chief Elon Musk saw the pad blast as one his major setbacks. The blast was considered as the major failure incurred by the company. Elon Musk, also the CEO of Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), further commented on the situation by saying that he was unsure about why the Falcon rocket burst on the Florida launch pad the last week.

He was highly disappointed that the blast destroyed not only the rocket but also the communications satellite of Israel attached to it, which it was supposed to lift into the orbit. Following this, on his Twitter account, he stated: “Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.”

In addition to this, more details were made evident about the accident investigations. According to news, the accident incurred by SpaceX is underway investigation under Commercial Space Transportation office of Federal Aviation Administration. It was observed that the rocket was enveloped by a massive fireball on Thursday, September 1 while it was being fueled as a part of its first stage routine test. The rocket was pre-scheduled to take off on Saturday, September 3. Also, it had been further stated that the nine engines present in the rocket had not even been ignited for the test firing while the rocket burst into flames from the upper stage despite the absence of external heat source.

Moreover, the accident has caused $200 million loss to the company, as it destroyed one of Israel-based Space Communication satellite. This satellite had been assigned to be used by Eutelsat and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) to expand their footprints in terms of increasing internet access in Africa. However, no information has been given about the damages faced by the launch pad situated in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Due to this accident, a backlog of 70 government and commercial launches has been created for the California-based company. These launches can amount to further $10 billion loss.

Moreover, it has been stated that this blast marked the second failure of 29 Falcon 9 rockets. The last accident occurred last year in June. It took the Hawthorne-based business around three weeks to determine the cause of its accident in FY15. The cause was identified as a fault in the bracket. 

Despite another investigation, the company remains confident on its previous results. The spokesman made it evident that the current investigations have nothing to do with the previous ones. However, its next flight has been delayed for later this month from another launch pad located in California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. The organization is confident on resolving the matter before its next launch. It also hopes to shift its Florida launches to NASA’s Space Centre in Kennedy, close to Cape Canaveral site.