[Update Jan 14th] And SpaceX has successfully returned to flight, launching IRIDIUM-1 into orbit and successfully landing their drone ship “Just Read The Instructions” for the first time.
Check out all of the moments in our Twitter Moments embed below.
[Update Jan 13th] SpaceX will be returning to flight tomorrow to launch the IRIDIUM-1 for Iridium’s next-generation global satellite network, Iridium Next.
The launch will kick off on January 14 at 9:54:39 am PST or 5:54:39 pm UTC, you can watch it live via the embed above.
Update: we have moved the embed to the below position as the live stream is now finished.
[Update Jan 8th] Due to some problems with the weather and other range conflicts, SpaceX has had to push today’s launch back to January 14th.
They revealed this in the following tweet:
Launch moving due to high winds and rains at Vandenberg. Other range conflicts this week results in next available launch date being Jan 14.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 8, 2017
We will update you as we hear more about the launch.
[Update Jan 6th] SpaceX has today revealed that they have had to push the launch back to Jan 8th.
Iridium has also released the following video to tease you with in the meantime, check it out:
[Original Story] For some time now, SpaceX has been trying to fix the problem that caused one of their Falcon 9 rockets to explode back in September.
They have since found the source of the rocket failure, which was said to be due to broken carbon fibers causing the oxygen fuel to ignite, they have said that they have identified all of the causes that may have been responsible and they are now confident that they have taken steps to stop it from happening again.
Last month SpaceX said that thanks to this they will be able to return to flight in early January and know that the most likely cause for the failure has been identified, SpaceX has said that it is able to implement a range of short term and long-term changes to avoid this kind of situation in the future.
Within these changes, they will be loading warmer helium into the pressure vessels to avoid liquid oxygen from turning into a solid, as well as returning to their previously successful method of loading helium.
In the long-term, they aim to create a new design that will prevent the helium vessels from buckling, however, they did not reveal any details about that design.
They explained more about it with the following:
Each stage of the Falcon 9 uses COPVs to store cold helium which is used to maintain tank pressure, and each COPV consists of an aluminum inner liner with a carbon overwrap. The recovered COPVs showed buckles in their liners. Although buckles were not shown to burst a COPV on their own, investigators concluded that super chilled LOX can pool in these buckles under the overwrap. When pressurized, oxygen pooled in this buckle can become trapped; in turn, breaking fibers or friction can ignite the oxygen in the overwrap, causing the COPV to fail. In addition, investigators determined that the loading temperature of the helium was cold enough to create solid oxygen (SOX), which exacerbates the possibility of oxygen becoming trapped as well as the likelihood of friction ignition.
The investigation team identified several credible causes for the COPV failure, all of which involve accumulation of super chilled LOX or SOX in buckles under the overwrap. The corrective actions address all credible causes and focus on changes which avoid the conditions that led to these credible causes. In the short term, this entails changing the COPV configuration to allow warmer temperature helium to be loaded, as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads. In the long term, SpaceX will implement design changes to the COPVs to prevent buckles altogether, which will allow for faster loading operations.
SpaceX now plans to return to flight from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4E on January 8th, at which point they will be commencing the Iridium NEXT launch if all goes well. This launch will put 10 small probes into orbit for the satellite operator Iridium.
You can read more about all of it at the source link below.