Falcon 9 explosion
SpaceX plans to resume Falcon 9 launches on Jan. 8 after completing the investigation into the pad explosion that destroyed another Falcon 9 four months ago.
Statements attributed to SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggest he remains concerned that Falcon 9 rocket operations are vulnerable to attack by “a long list” of SpaceX adversaries even if it’s unlikely that such an event was behind the Sept. 1 explosion during preparations of a static fire test.
Even as he rolled out an ambitious program of heavy-lift rockets and spacecraft to send people to Mars, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said Sept. 27 his top near-term priority is to complete a “vexing and difficult” investigation into the Falcon 9 pad explosion early this month.
Investigators have traced the explosion that destroyed a SpaceX Falcon 9 on the pad Sept. 1 to a “large breach” in the helium system in the rocket’s second stage, although the root cause of the accident remains unknown.
SpaceX on Sept. 23 said preliminary results of its investigation into the Sept. 1 explosion as its Falcon 9 rocket was preparing for a static test firing was cause day a “large breach” in the cryogenic helium system in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank.