If you read Techaeris frequently, you may remember a story we published a few days ago about Microsoft sending HoloLens to the ISS on the 28th of June, this past Sunday. I doubt it was us who jinxed it, but the Falcon 9, the SpaceX rocket that was going to carry HoloLens to the ISS along with other supplies, never made it out of the atmosphere.
Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown. Will provide more info as soon as we review the data.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2015
The rocket experienced a malfunction about 2 minutes into its flight, then exploded. A few more Tweets from Elon Musk, the founder of Space X, updating the situation
There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2015
Cause still unknown after several thousand engineering-hours of review. Now parsing data with a hex editor to recover final milliseconds.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 29, 2015
As history has taught us, there are indubitably going to be setbacks in getting to space, especially with this seemingly wilder and more competitive Space Race 2.0. Unfortunately as things begin to become more routine – Falcon 9 has flown over 15 successful flights – mistakes get made and things get overlooked. It’s ironic and unfortunate that a very similar thing occurred 30 years ago to Challenger, luckily though, no lives were lost in Falcon 9’s ruin.
The questions of where SpaceX stands are inevitable. The company has signed contracts and has over 50 flights scheduled.
Current customers include NASA, which uses Falcon 9 and SpaceX Dragon cargo ships to fly supplies to the International Space Station, and about 20 commercial and other satellite operators, many of which have contracts for multiple flights.
This flight was also going to provide SpaceX another opportunity to attempt to land its rocket’s first stage on an ocean going barge, their third attempt following two previously failed ones.
While this drawback is certainly a cause for concern, especially because the cause of the explosion is still unknown, SpaceX will continue to service its contracts, and will surely pay close attention to cross their t’s and dot their i’s.
How badly do you feel this failed flight could affect SpaceX. Do you feel it is a minor drawback, or a major red flag? Let us know in the comments below.Source: Reuters