Doubts on SpaceX’s announcement of resuming Falcon 9 in November

Doubts on SpaceX’s announcement of resuming Falcon 9 in November

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has termed the incident in which the company’s rocket exploded dramatically during a regular launch pad test. The accident that was termed to be the most difficult and complex failure made Musk announced that the company would be soon back with rocket launches.

But some spaceflight experts have casted doubts on Musk’s predictions. They really doubt how SpaceX will launch Falcon 9 by November. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said on Tuesday that the company is expecting to resume the launches in November.

Wayne Hale, an engineer, rocket accident investigator, was of the view that when the company has not been able to come up with the reason responsible for the failure of last Falcon 9, so it is quite doubtful how it will launch the next one in November.

Tory Bruno, the chief executive of United Launch Alliance, was of the view that it takes around nine to 12 months for people to return to flight. There is a possibility for SpaceX to resume rocket launches in a few months if the root cause could be find out very soon.

SpaceX has not disclosed the level of damage the Space Launch Complex 40 has suffered the launchpad where the Falcon 9 exploded, on September 1. Previously, a spokesperson at SpaceX, has affirmed that the company has included around 20 people in its core investigation team.

Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of mission assurance, will be heading the investigation. As per the spokesperson, “believe he is the best person to do so. We are collaborating very closely with the participating agencies, sharing raw data and providing access to meetings”.

As per the internal watchdog, the internal investigation may not include contributing factors that may help in preventing future failures.

A report published in Business Insider revealed, "Two weeks ago Thursday, a SpaceX rocket burst into a fireball during a routine launchpad test and destroyed Facebook's $200 million Amos-6 satellite. No one was hurt, but SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said this accident is "the most difficult and complex failure" his company has ever seen."

"It is hard to see how SpaceX could fly Falcon 9 by November, especially since they have [publicly] stated that they don't have a root cause established," Wayne Hale - an engineer, rocket accident investigator, and a former NASA space shuttle director - told Business Insider in an email.

Hale noted it's possible SpaceX could resume launching rockets in a few months "if the root cause were definitely determined very soon and corrective action is easy and swift," he said, but "that is unlikely in my experience."

According to a story published on the topic by Space News, "One of the difficult lessons learned from the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 was the need for human-carrying spacecraft to come with emergency escape systems, a means of ejecting the crew vehicle from the rocket in an emergency. "

While both companies are required to include one of these escape systems in their vehicles, the approach to testing the systems differs slightly between the two companies. Representatives of SpaceX and Boeing, along with a representative from NASA, discussed the testing process in a session at a meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), held this week in Long Beach, California.

Founded and helmed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX is currently flying cargo to the space station for NASA using the company's Falcon 9 rocket and Drago cargo capsule. SpaceX is adapting the Dragon to fly humans to the station.


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