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Loose rivets
1st Sep 2016, 14:52
Whatever it is, it doesn't look good.

Explosion at Kennedy Space Center as SpaceX prepares launch - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37247077)


The force of the blast shook buildings several miles away.

Cazalet33
1st Sep 2016, 15:09
http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/165B1/production/_90996519_blast2.jpg

A mushroom cloud is never a good thing in civil rocketry.

wiggy
1st Sep 2016, 15:23
One can only hope that whatever was going on ( unspecified test? Fuelling ?) was known to be high risk and nobody was on or very near the pad at the time.

G-CPTN
1st Sep 2016, 15:26
SpaceX rocket: Explosion at Cape Canaveral ahead of launch (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37247077).

Lonewolf_50
1st Sep 2016, 15:27
SpaceX was believed to be test-firing a rocket which was due to take a satellite into space this weekend.
This is why things get tested. To see if they work as predicted.


Local emergency officials described the incident as a "catastrophic abort during a static test fire".
Heh, I like the phrasing there. Hope nobody was close enough to get hurt.

Cazalet33
1st Sep 2016, 15:31
I'm glad the shares I have in TSLA are not connected to Space-X, but I'm sure the meeja will report it as yet another Model S fire.

ORAC
1st Sep 2016, 15:39
Those Li batteries sure do make a hell of a fire.....

Cazalet33
1st Sep 2016, 15:49
Please tell me a Boeing Dreadliner wasn't doing a low approach and go-around.

IBMJunkman
1st Sep 2016, 16:17
Any chance this was a test of a reused booster?

ORAC
1st Sep 2016, 16:30
1. Explosion occurred at T-3 minutes during fuelling and pre-chill; reported as a pad, not a rocket, anomaly.
3. No reported casualties
4. First stage was the first reuse of CRS-8 first stage

Tom!
1st Sep 2016, 17:19
1.
4. First stage was the first reuse of CRS-8 first stage
Incorrect, the one today was a brand new one (F9-029). The reused one is scheduled on the SES10 mission later in the year (core F9-023 from the CRS8 mission).

G-CPTN
1st Sep 2016, 17:21
Who funds the insurance of the load?

Or do they have to sign a disclaimer?

Tom!
1st Sep 2016, 19:43
From twitter:
Elon Musk has stated that because the rocket didn't intentionally ignite for launch, the loss of payload is not covered by launch insurance.:suspect:

Cazalet33
1st Sep 2016, 20:25
Who owns/loses the payload value then?

The shipper? The owner?

I guess the insurance premium will be a bit high next time someone wants to put valuable baggage in the overhead compartment next time Space-X tries a pre-launch "test"..

fltlt
1st Sep 2016, 21:01
Maybe now all three of his companies will be running out of money, not just two.

Cazalet33
1st Sep 2016, 21:09
Two companies, not three.

Dunno what the connection is, though.

If some bozo crashes his Model S while watching a Harry Potter movie on DVD, does that mean a Space-X rocket will burn?

angels
1st Sep 2016, 21:20
Skip to just over the 1:00 mark for a pretty loud and spectacular anomaly.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BgJEXQkjNQ

ExRAFRadar
1st Sep 2016, 21:27
Jeez, who cares. Expensive private rocket blows up on launch pad.
No one died, none of us on here know what caused it, absolutely no one in the general public gives a monkey's.
Hardly news is it.
And C33 - mate what does this mean:

"If some bozo crashes his Model S while watching a Harry Potter movie on DVD, does that mean a Space-X rocket will burn? "

Seriously?

finfly1
1st Sep 2016, 21:28
As one said in the top forum, one is not overly distressed that the book of faces will not have a satellite. One is quite distrustful of said operation

Loose rivets
1st Sep 2016, 21:32
I said on R&N that I couldn't stop frame the flash, but this one on YT is a tad better. 1:11 shows something happen and then the main flash.

Where was the mass down-flow of fuel coming from?

wiggy
1st Sep 2016, 22:23
Just to get this into context, and lest we forget, the Soviets lost 126 people in a pad explosion back in 1960, an accident sometimes known as the Nedelin catastrophe.

Because of the lessons learned in many pad accidents over the years the good news is that nobody got killed today and I'm sure the owner can foot the bill........

Flash2001
1st Sep 2016, 22:42
Video shows large low order explosion of upper stage originating just below payload. Total destruction of vehicle and payload.

Flash

KenV
2nd Sep 2016, 05:10
With this loss of a launcher and a payload, plus their launch pad (apparently) in ruins, Space X's contest for the next batch of National Reconnaissance Office launches against ULA should prove interesting. And I gotta wonder if this loss will affect SpaceX's recent award of GPS launch contracts.

KenV
2nd Sep 2016, 05:26
Who funds the insurance of the load?The satellite’s manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries, took out an insurance policy on the Amos-6 worth $285 million – the same amount as the total value of the satellite, according to a person familiar with the matter. That policy, also known as a marine cargo insurance policy, covers transit and pre-launch processing of the satellite from the factory to the launch site. Spacecom’s insurance policy doesn’t cover risk of loss until the launch.
LINK (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-space-x-explosion-20160901-snap-story.html)


So it looks like Spacecom lost a $285M asset with no insurance. Their stock fell 9% after the explosion.

Peter-RB
2nd Sep 2016, 06:53
Anomaly..? I would say a Farking great explosion....good job it wasn't parked alongside the SSI.. :eek: no one would know what had happened in that scenario.

There will be a need for some serious re-building of the launch site after all that heat

pattern_is_full
2nd Sep 2016, 07:28
I was fascinated by the number of secondary explosions. A couple of dozen - sounded like a string of fireworks.

I guess even after the main propellant tanks let go, there are lots of subsystems that can "cook off" over time - satellite manuevering and refrigeration, fuel cells, etc. As well as perhaps some unoccupied ground service vehicles.

wiggy
2nd Sep 2016, 08:11
Not familiar with this design but certainly many launchers are packed with a considerable number of pyrotechnic devices ( e.g to ensure a prompt positive separation of stages, shrouds, protective covers etc). Those type of devices (if present) cooking off might explain some of the secondary explosions.

Peter-RB
2nd Sep 2016, 10:03
This mornings rag states " the rocket is still standing" me thinks they feel the structural steel or the tower is indeed the Rocket....good old accurate reporting once more..:=

TWT
2nd Sep 2016, 10:16
Hydrazine,used for the station keeping thrusters on communication satellites is not only highly toxic,but extremely flammable.Its high calorific value is the reason it's used : maximum amount of chemical energy by weight.

Daysleeper
2nd Sep 2016, 11:07
So it looks like Spacecom lost a $285M asset with no insurance.

Probably not, it's likely the sat still belongs to the manufacturer. They hold maritime insurance which should (might not but should) cover this as a planned pre-launch activity. So the insurance industry takes a hit.

For Spacecom's shares I guess the problem is lack of revenue. It had a failure of AMOS 5 last year and though AMOS 6 is not a replacement for 5 the revenue stream would have been useful. Eutelsat were leasing some of the payload (the Ka bit for facebook) and reckon it will cost them 5 mil euro this year rising to 25 mil in 2018.

KenV
2nd Sep 2016, 17:12
They hold maritime insurance which should (might not but should) cover this as a planned pre-launch activity. So the insurance industry takes a hit.The maritime insurance covers the satellite from the time it leaves the factory till it gets to the launch site. Once the satellite passes all its delivery inspections/tests at the launch facility, ownership is handed over and the maritime insurance coverage ends. The launch insurance kicks in when the rocket motors ignite. So there's a considerable gap in between. Don't know who "owned" this satellite during that period, but usually it is the satellite service provider, which in this case is Spacecom. Historically, commercial on-pad prelaunch operations have been safe and reliable and have resulted in few losses, so maybe Spacecom took a chance and did not insure the satellite during that period. But I don't know.

....marine cargo insurance policy covers transit and pre-launch processing of the satellite from the factory to the launch site.

vulcanised
2nd Sep 2016, 17:30
Imagine having car jnsurance like that !

One policy covers your car in the driveway, then another takes over as you enter the road, then aother takes over as you enter the supermarket car park, then...................
.

Sue Vêtements
2nd Sep 2016, 17:40
It was probably some ground crew having a crafty smoke. :=


I watched the film and all I could think of was a coal burning power station




pad accidents ... no I'm going to leave that one alone :oh:

KenV
2nd Sep 2016, 17:58
Imagine having car jnsurance like that !
One policy covers your car in the driveway, then another takes over as you enter the road, then aother takes over as you enter the supermarket car park, then...................But car insurance actually works the same way. From the factory to the dealer the car is owned by the factory and risk belongs to the factory. The factory has insurance to cover that risk. Once the car arrives at the dealer, car ownership and risk switches to the dealer. His insurance covers damage there, including any accidents during customer test drives. When the dealer sells the car, the new owner's insurance kicks in as soon as he drives off the dealer's lot. So really not that much different than the satellite, except of course the magnitudes.

rugmuncher
2nd Sep 2016, 18:13
The maritime insurance covers the satellite from the time it leaves the factory till it gets to the launch site. Once the satellite passes all its delivery inspections/tests at the launch facility, ownership is handed over and the maritime insurance coverage ends. The launch insurance kicks in when the rocket motors ignite. So there's a considerable gap in between. Don't know who "owned" this satellite during that period, but usually it is the satellite service provider, which in this case is Spacecom. Historically, commercial on-pad prelaunch operations have been safe and reliable and have resulted in few losses, so maybe Spacecom took a chance and did not insure the satellite during that period. But I don't know.

....marine cargo insurance policy covers transit and pre-launch processing of the satellite from the factory to the launch site.


Not entirely the full story there.

Pre-launch insurance provides coverage for loss or damage to the satellite or its components from the time they leave the manufacturer's premises, during the transit to the launch site, through testing, fueling, and integration with the launcher up until the time the launcher's rocket engines are ignited for the purpose of the actual launch.

Gordy
2nd Sep 2016, 18:47
Looks like there maybe hope for a return of Sea Launch. See Here (http://www.sea-launch.com/)

Incidentally the last launch from the equator, (of which I was a part of), was for Eutelsat.

MG23
2nd Sep 2016, 19:19
It was probably some ground crew having a crafty smoke

If I remember correctly, when that Soviet rocket exploded in the 70s and killed over a hundred technicians, the only survivor was the one who'd sneaked off to the smoking bunker for a quick fag.

wiggy
2nd Sep 2016, 20:12
If I remember correctly, when that Soviet rocket exploded in the 70s and killed over a hundred technicians, the only survivor was the one who'd sneaked off to the smoking bunker for a quick fag.

Yep, Not far off the mark, you're thinking of the previously mentioned (post #21) Nedelin catastrophe in 1960 - a couple of the senior "wheels" only survived because they'd moved away to have a crafty smoke behind a bunker which meant they were further away from the pad when things went wrong...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedelin_catastrophe

There is film of the accident but it doesn't make pleasant watching...

Sue Vêtements
4th Sep 2016, 15:01
The disaster is named after Chief Marshal of Artillery Mitrofan Ivanovich Nedelin (Russian: Митрофан Иванович Неделин), who was killed in the explosion.Such an honour!

G-CPTN
25th Sep 2016, 13:44
SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/24/space_x_a_breach_in_our_liquid_ox/).

Did someone fire a rifle bullet?

Windy Militant
25th Sep 2016, 22:42
Did someone fire a rifle bullet?
More likely dodgy welding, like the Saturn S-IVB that failed on the test stand.
Someone used the wrong welding rod on the spherical pressurisation tanks.
Can't find the report but the clue was that a hemisphere was found some distance from the stand without any scorch marks. Pressure testing on the rest of the batch at cryo temperatures resulted in failures at a much lower pressure than expected. Oops!

Jonno_aus
26th Sep 2016, 15:33
Speaking of Saturn, bring back the Saturn V with the F-1 engines. That was a REAL rocket. Not these cute little things they use today.

KenV
26th Sep 2016, 18:43
Speaking of Saturn, bring back the Saturn V with the F-1 engines. We can't build those anymore. They required a lot of very skilled hand welding, and the skills no longer exist. Kinda like building old Rolls Royce automobiles today. That level of craftsmanship no longer exists and it can't be done.

KenV
26th Sep 2016, 19:04
At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and debris suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place."The helium system was breached? That's what caussed the last failure, a helium tank breach cause by a failed support strut. The breached helium tank then over pressurized the LOX tank which in turn led to the fireball that destroyed the rocket and payload. That event occurred in flight and the strut's production/QA system was fixed to prevent a recurrence. Assuming a failed strut was not the proximate cause of this failure, I wonder what else could cause a helium tank breach?

ORAC
26th Sep 2016, 19:07
Assuming they correctly diagnosed the previous failure - and it wasn't the failure of the tank which caused the failure of the support strut rather than the other way round.......

Jonno_aus
26th Sep 2016, 20:43
We can't build those anymore. They required a lot of very skilled hand welding, and the skills no longer exist. Kinda like building old Rolls Royce automobiles today. That level of craftsmanship no longer exists and it can't be done.

Can't we just bring back the old crew? Like old times. It would be great. Then make a movie out of it. Maybe have Emilio Estvez as the leading guy. Would be a classic.

Turbine D
26th Sep 2016, 22:42
From today's WSJ:
An investigative update released Friday by SpaceX offered little insight into the likely root cause of a catastrophic explosion that destroyed one of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets during routine ground tests in Florida three weeks ago.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said it believes there was “a large breach” in the helium system of the booster’s upper stage, which in less than one-tenth of a second caused an intense fire, also destroyed a commercial satellite and cut off the flow of data.

But SpaceX’s statement didn’t identify the probable culprit or even point to a number of various possible causes.

A SpaceX rocket exploded at a launch site in Cape Canaveral on a Thursday, destroying a satellite the company planned to launch into orbit on Saturday.
Instead, the Southern California company said “all plausible causes are being tracked” and carefully investigated as part of the comprehensive probe. The company, founded and run by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, reiterated that pending results of the investigation, “we anticipate returning to flight as early as the November timeframe.” Government and industry officials previously said the next flight is likely to be from a different pad in the adjacent Kennedy Center launch facility.

The statement also said the review has “exonerated any connection with last year’s” explosion of another unmanned Falcon 9 shortly after takeoff. SpaceX has said the earlier accident was caused by the failure of a low-tech, structural support holding a helium container inside the second stage. Since then, the company has revamped quality-control procedures to ensure the safety of hardware provided by suppliers.

The investigation into the latest accident is being led by SpaceX, with participation from the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Air Force. Specifics about the status or focus of the probe haven’t been made public, and the final report may remain under wraps based on earlier legal and procedural precedents.

Hope this helps where the investigation stands and why you may not hear much for quite awhile.

Windy Militant
27th Sep 2016, 19:12
Speaking of Saturn, bring back the Saturn V with the F-1 engines.
Be careful what you wish for! ;)
NASA Resurrects, Tests Mighty F-1 Engine Gas Generator | NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/f1_sls.html)

Jonno_aus
27th Sep 2016, 19:52
I've watched all these vids, don't worry. :ok:

Mind numbinglymind numbing that that thing fed the turbines right?

KenV
27th Sep 2016, 21:28
Can't we just bring back the old crew?Those super skilled welders were pretty old back in the 60s when the rocket engines were made. They'd be 50 years older now. Would they still have "the right stuff" to hand weld to that level?

KenV
27th Sep 2016, 21:47
Be careful what you wish for! http://cdn.pprune.org/images/smilies/wink2.gif
NASA Resurrects, Tests Mighty F-1 Engine Gas Generator | NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/f1_sls.html)This is a test of just the gas generator portion of the F-1 engine. The gas generator provided the power to run the turbo pumps that fed the LO2 and RP-1 to the F-1 engine. This is not the F-1 engine itself.

Windy Militant
27th Sep 2016, 22:15
Yep I know it's just the gas generator, if you read the accompanying peice What they are trying to do is build new versions of the F1 engine. The SLS will be a one shot item unlike the Shuttle engines which being reusable are more complex and therefore more expensive than the F1. The new engine will include some of the sophistication of the Shuttle engine but in a simpler form to make it more economic. The old engines make a good base line to start from.

Those super skilled welders were pretty old back in the 60s when the rocket engines were made. They'd be 50 years older now. Would they still have "the right stuff" to hand weld to that level?

As the late great Fred Dinah once remarked when trying to find someone to teach him how to rivet the boiler of his traction engine back together,
"Got any good riveters boss"
Reply" All the good riveters are dead!"
Fred takes off his cap scratches his head and says
"Well got any not so bad ones still alive?" ;)

MG23
28th Sep 2016, 00:40
So, anyway, looks like the new SpaceX rocket they announced plans for today will have about 4x the thrust of a Saturn V. If it actually flies one day.

Edit: here's some more info. Looks like they've actually started building some prototype parts:

http://imgur.com/a/knTbV

MG23
28th Sep 2016, 05:04
And the video. This one doesn't blow up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qo78R_yYFA

Jonno_aus
28th Sep 2016, 05:50
I think I've got the basic plot down now for the movie.

SpaceX program is going from bad to worse. Explosions on the launch pad. Designs not working. Under pressure to beat China to Mars etc.

Young hot shot engineer working on new engines can't make them work. New computer designs just aren't performing as they should. He can't understand it. He has a college degree! They should work.

Stumbles across the blue prints and papers on the F-1 engines. Old fashion. But they worked. He goes from meh, old design to really considering it. Makes some enquirers. Same view as here. Can't find quality welders. Without quality welders, it won't work. Knowledge and know how is lacking on how to proceed. Impossible. Looks like it's all going pear shape for out hot shot engineer. And the revival of the F-1 all but a dream.

He gives up. And will loose his job.

Cut to this scene. He is out with his wife and little girl in the park. She's playing on the new swing set the local council put in. Wife and hot shot engineer discussing moving on and making a new life. He thinks he could go back to repairing furniture to make some money if he quites SpaceX. Which she supports.

As he's talking and watching his little girl play, he leans against the swing set and casually
looks over it. Then he notices something. The welds!!! They're like welding joints he has never seen before! Quality he never knew existed!

So he makes enquiries, but it turns up stone cold. Somebody MUST know who welded the swing set? He persists. And finally through some illegal break and entry into the local council archives, he finds the originator. A retired engineer working in his garage making swing sets. A retired engineer who worked in Huntsville Alabama on the F-1 rocket engine program.

Would he want to be a apart of the revival of the famous rocket engine?

The question...and answer, will leave audiences gasping in anticipation.




OMG. This could well be the greatest movie ever made.

G-CPTN
28th Sep 2016, 11:54
0qo78R_yYFA

What could possibly go wrong?

Fuel for the return trip?

Jhieminga
28th Sep 2016, 14:38
Speaking of Saturn, bring back the Saturn V with the F-1 engines. That was a REAL rocket. Not these cute little things they use today.
I've seen the F-1 gas generator test too, but recently found some videos of the new RS-25 engine on test. Looks like a pretty grown up piece of kit:
s0VfFMLg8mc

KenV
28th Sep 2016, 15:16
Yep I know it's just the gas generator, if you read the accompanying peice What they are trying to do is build new versions of the F1 engine.Actually, no. NASA is wedded to the shuttle derived but single use RS-25 for the core. But for future super heavy missions, that core will need larger more powerful strap-on boosters, the shuttle derived solid boosters won't do. And for those future boosters, they are looking at all sorts of technology, including advanced solid as well as advanced liquid engines. The point of this exercise it to understand the very large gas generator of the F-1. Next they will study the turbo machinery of the F-1. Those two subsystems are the heart and soul of any liquid fueled engine. The goal being to fully understand how they operate so that new manufacturing technology (like laser welding, friction stir welding, additive manufacturing, etc) and new materials can be applied to such systems. But this is IF they choose to go with an advanced liquid fueled booster. They may go with advanced solids. That decision has not been made yet.

MG23
28th Sep 2016, 15:29
Fuel for the return trip?

Made on Mars. That's why they're switching to LOX/Methane engines, because that's relatively easy to make from local materials.

A full fuel load is enough to take their lander from the surface of Mars to Earth, particularly when it's a hundred tons lighter than it was leaving Earth (because it left all those people and that cargo on Mars).

Argonautical
28th Sep 2016, 16:36
We can't build those anymore. They required a lot of very skilled hand welding, and the skills no longer exist. Kinda like building old Rolls Royce automobiles today. That level of craftsmanship no longer exists and it can't be done.

I read somewhere that we have lost the skills to make large calibre gun barrels for battleships.

KenV
28th Sep 2016, 18:06
That's why they're switching to LOX/Methane engines, because that's relatively easy to make from local materials.That's only part of the reason. RP-1 has much more energy density than LH2 which is why most rockets use it as fuel. The reason the shuttle used LH2 engines is because LH2 burns clean and the engine can be easily refurbished and re-used. It is possible but difficult to refurbish and re-use RP-1 fueled engines because they coke up and even then can only be reused a few times. Methane has near the energy density of RP-1, but it burns cleanly like LH2, making it possible to re-use the engine many many times. So its the ideal cross between RP-1 and LH2. And to make SpaceX's Mars transport viable, it must be re-used hundreds of times.

ORAC
28th Sep 2016, 19:48
Paah!!! That's not heavy lift - this is heavy lift....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

George Dyson: The story of Project Orion | TED Talk | TED.com (http://www.ted.com/talks/george_dyson_on_project_orion?language=en)

Project Orion Nuclear Propulsion - 1950s Tests | Unclassified Video (http://www.space.com/28009-project-orion-nuclear-propulsion-1950s-tests-unclassified-video.html)

UEtaQpHBP4U

KenV
29th Sep 2016, 14:58
Paah!!! That's not heavy lift - this is heavy lift....Technically not lift at all. These nuclear engines were designed to only operate in space, not within earth's atmosphere. So conventional rockets would need to lift the nuclear system into orbit and from there it would use nuclear propulsion to accelerate out of orbit and towards it's destination.

ORAC
29th Sep 2016, 16:34
Hmm, untrue KenV, they were planned to launch using the thrust as well. The plan (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31925.0) was to launch from the North Pole to minimise EMP through the ionosphere and fallout.

It was the rising apprehension about fallout and the partial nuclear test ban treaty which killed it.

KenV
29th Sep 2016, 16:43
Hmm, untrue KenV, they were planned to launch using the thrust as well. The plan (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31925.0) was to launch from the North Pole to minimise EMP through the ionosphere and fallout. I stand corrected. My bad.

G-CPTN
29th Sep 2016, 16:46
What would have been the effect of a catastrophic failure during lift off?

KenV
29th Sep 2016, 17:27
What would have been the effect of a catastrophic failure during lift off?I gotta wonder what the effects would be of a SUCCESSFUL ground launch.

MG23
29th Sep 2016, 17:39
What would have been the effect of a catastrophic failure during lift off?As mentioned above, it would have been less bad than the effect of a successful launch. At least for the people on the ground.

However, Orion did use some kind of shaped nuclear charge, where most of the blast would go toward the pusher plate, rather than spread out in a sphere. So a launch probably wouldn't have been as bad for those on the ground as it might first seem.

Edit: Also, if I remember correctly, the initial launch would have used some of the lowest-yield nukes ever made, because anything bigger would have destroyed the spacecraft. They'd have to get above most of the atmosphere before they could start using the big ones.

Jonno_aus
4th Oct 2016, 01:44
Now they're talking sabotage. This just gets more exciting.


I'm going to put this in the movie too.

megan
4th Oct 2016, 05:56
Now they're talking sabotageFrom AVwebAn element of intrigue has been added to the investigation of the explosion of SpaceX rocket on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral last month. The Washington Post, quoting unnamed sources, says SpaceX is investigating the possibility of sabotage in the mishap, which destroyed the rocket and its payload, an internet-beaming satellite being deployed by Facebook. According to the story, SpaceX sent investigators to a building owned by competitor United Launch Alliance about a mile from the launch pad because it noted something odd on the roof of the building in still images taken from video shot at the time of the blast. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also spoken about the investigation taking some strange turns, particularly where it concerns a mysterious noise heard just before the rocket blows up. “Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off,” he wrote on Twitter. “May come from rocket or something else.”

So far, the investigation has determined that a breach in the helium system used to pressurize fuel being loaded on the rocket caused the blast but they can’t figure out what caused the breach. “We’ve eliminated all of the obvious possibilities for what occurred there,” he told a conference in Mexico. “So what remains are the less probable answers.” SpaceX then issued a statement that seemed to further confirm the conspiracy line. “The Accident Investigation Team has an obligation to consider all possible causes of the anomaly, and we aren’t commenting on any specific potential cause until the investigation is complete,” the statement read. The Air Force is helping the investigation, which is led by SpaceX, but is also not commenting. United Launch Alliance used to have a monopoly on launches for the Air Force but SpaceX earned the right to compete for that business with a 2014 lawsuit against the Air Force.

Katamarino
4th Oct 2016, 17:12
A sniper on the roof, eh?

KenV
4th Oct 2016, 18:41
A sniper on the roof, eh? That would have to a good sniper using very interesting bullets. How so? Since the "bang" sound was heard "a few seconds" BEFORE the fireball, the bullet would have to travel well below the speed of sound for the bang to arrive before the bullet. So a sub sonic bullet that can not only travel a mile, but can do so with a high degree of accuracy and retain enough energy after traveling a mile to cause sufficient damage to cause the explosion.

Denti
4th Oct 2016, 19:07
Wouldn't it be responsible for the breach in the helium system rather than the explosion itself?

MG23
4th Oct 2016, 19:07
For the record, I'm not aware of anyone at SpaceX seriously suggesting someone shot their rocket. As I understand it, they just saw something strange on top of a nearby building in the videos and wanted to find out what it was.

The rest just seems to be standard media clickbait.

ORAC
4th Oct 2016, 20:18
From what I have found the possibility of an external intervention (bullet/laser etc) has been eliminated. The possibility of sabotage has not.

G0ULI
4th Oct 2016, 20:41
I would conclude that the initial bang was a super cooled or incorrectly torqued coupling failing. Several seconds for pressurised gas to vent and find an ignition point and then the big boom. Most likely human error, mechanical failure or a combination of the two. It would be much more suspicious if there wasn't any delay between the sound of a component failing and the final explosion.

Katamarino
4th Oct 2016, 22:13
That would have to a good sniper using very interesting bullets. How so? Since the "bang" sound was heard "a few seconds" BEFORE the fireball, the bullet would have to travel well below the speed of sound for the bang to arrive before the bullet. So a sub sonic bullet that can not only travel a mile, but can do so with a high degree of accuracy and retain enough energy after traveling a mile to cause sufficient damage to cause the explosion.

You're making the assumption that the explosion would be instantaneous with the bullet impact. I see no reason for that assumption, and find it far more likely that it would occur a few seconds later.

Of course I don't seriously think anyone shot it.

Denti
5th Oct 2016, 08:22
elonmusk: Sabotage of the rocket is unlikely, but this article has some great theories :)
theringer.com/ranking-potent…

Post on twitter from elonmusk (and yes, it is his personal confirmed account).

MG23
5th Oct 2016, 15:31
You're making the assumption that the explosion would be instantaneous with the bullet impact.

If it hit the helium tank, I can't really see how it would not have failed instantly. If I remember correctly, the helium is stored at something like 4,000 PSI, so the stress on the tank walls will be insane.

KenV
5th Oct 2016, 15:41
I would conclude that the initial bang was a super cooled or incorrectly torqued coupling failing.Nice theory, but it does not jibe with Space X's description of a "large breach in the helium system". That system uses helium stored at around 300 atmospheres (over 4000 PSI). That is a LOT of stored energy suddenly released in a large breach. The results would be catastrophic and nearly instantaneous, which is what we saw in the video.

ORAC
29th Oct 2016, 06:40
SpaceX narrows down cause of Falcon 9 pad explosion

NEW YORK — SpaceX said Oct. 28 that it is able to replicate the failure of a helium tank that is suspected, but yet to be confirmed, as the cause of Falcon 9 pad explosion nearly two months ago.

In a statement, the company said it is focusing its investigation on tanks made of fiber composite materials used to store helium within the liquid oxygen propellant tank of the Falcon 9’s second stage. In its last public statement about the investigation, issued Sept. 23, the company said the cryogenic helium system in the propellant tank suffered a “large breach” immediately before the explosion.

“The root cause of the breach has not yet been confirmed, but attention has continued to narrow to one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the [liquid oxygen] tank,” SpaceX said in its new statement. The company said it’s able to replicate the failure of a helium tank based on the condition of the helium being loaded into it. “These conditions are mainly affected by the temperature and pressure of the helium being loaded,” SpaceX said.

The new statement appears to confirm recent statements by company officials that suggested an issue with how the launch vehicle is prepared for launch, and not a flaw with the vehicle itself, caused the explosion during preparations for a static-fire test. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, speaking at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Engineering Oct. 9, said the company was “homing in” on the cause of the accident, adding she felt it unlikely it was caused by “a vehicle issue or an engineering design issue but more of a business process issue.”

In comments that leaked out after an Oct. 13 presentation at the National Reconnaissance Office, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk suggested solid oxygen formed within one of the COPVs. “Under pressure it could have ignited with the carbon,” he said, according to a leaked transcript of his speech. “This is the leading theory right now, but it is subject to confirmation.”.........

Jonno_aus
29th Oct 2016, 14:38
Petty sure it was the Indians....

ehwatezedoing
30th Oct 2016, 03:27
Petty sure it was the Indians....

Huh!? :confused:

Jonno_aus
30th Oct 2016, 06:10
http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/586178-bit-mystery-over-ba-diversion-3.html

They've taken on the Anglo American dual partnership. They're back, the Indians. Like I always knew they would be someday.