SpaceX And NASA Release A Statement Addressing The Powerful Falcon 9 Explosion At Cape Canaveral

SpaceX and NASA have released a statement regarding last week’s Falcon 9 rocket explosion that left their Cape Canaveral launch pad badly damaged and inoperable for the foreseeable future. SpaceX indicates in the release that the damaged Launch Complex 40 area — a site at the Cape that SpaceX leases from the US Air Force — will be out of commission for some time will the two investigate the blast and conduct repairs. SpaceX also all reports that per company protocol all staff was cleared from the site of the unmanned rocket when a problem was detected, and there were no reported injuries due to the blast.

In the statement, SpaceX and NASA indicate that while they are looking into the cause what they are referring to an “anomaly that originated around the upper stage liquid oxygen tank” and conducting repairs, there are options available now, and in the near future, if they so choose to continue launch tests.

SpaceX currently operates 3 launch pads – 2 in Florida and 1 in California at Vandenberg Air Force Base SpaceX’s other launch sites were not affected by yesterday’s events.Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base is in the final stages of an operational upgrade and Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center remains on schedule to be operational in November. Both pads are capable of supporting Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches.We are confident the two launch pads can support our return to flight and fulfill our upcoming manifest needs.

SpaceX and NASA say their Accident Investigation Team has immediately begun their investigation following the loss of the Falcon 9 vehicle and payload. According to the newly released statement, the process of figuring out what caused the anomaly that led to the disaster will include reviewing approximately 3000 channels of telemetry and video data covering a time period of just 35-55 milliseconds.

The Falcon 9 explosion meant the loss of the Amos-6 payload, a communications satellite that was expected to orbit high above the Earth where it would eventually match the Earth’s rotational rate in an attempt to remain in a fixed place where it could then throw back signals. The Amos-6 was scheduled to remain fixed in a position somewhere above Africa.

(Via The Verge)