When it comes to the cutting edge, Elon Musk is most comfortable. The entrepreneur likes to push the envelope in different fields ranging from cars to spaceflight to solar energy. But, a SpaceX rocket’s explosion previous week has prompted the question that whether the CEO is pushing extremely hard?
On Thursday, during a routine firing test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, explosion of a semi-reusable Falcon 9 rocket, one of the numerous created by Musk’s SpaceX firm for the delivery of payloads to the International Space Station (ISS), took place. The craft was scheduled to ferry Israeli communications satellite into orbit.
The American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company has called ‘anomaly’ on the launch pad responsible for the malfunction. A number of industry experts, including ex NASA official Scott Pace have expressed concern post launch failure.
While speaking to The New York Times, Pace, present director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said, “SpaceX is running a punishing schedule. There is probably some human factor involved here. To what extent was human error part of this? And if so, why? Are you running your people too hard? What are your safety requirements?”
But the US space agency and other experts have mentioned that considering the scope of SpaceX’s work, scattered mishaps are usual. In fact post Thursday’s explosion, the success rate of the company hovered near the mid-90 percent range.
Another former NASA official LoizosHeracleous, a Warwick Business School professor, said that in the field of space missions, even the most modified simulations can’t take place of what wonder’s ‘learning by doing’ can do, considering the extent of variables involved and the significance of learning from experience.
Heracleous added that the explosion isn’t going to alter SpaceX’s long term goals of decreasing the expense of spaceflight by using reusable rockets, and it ultimate goal to colonize the Red Planet.