Back in September, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded.
in the time between then and now, the company hasn’t yet pinpointed the exact reason for this accident, however, they have got closer to finding the answer and they have now narrowed the cause down to most likely being one of the composite overwrapped pressure vessels inside of the liquid oxygen tank.
They explained with the following:
The investigation team has made significant progress on the fault tree. Previously, we announced the investigation was focusing on a breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank. The root cause of the breach has not yet been confirmed, but attention has continued to narrow to one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the LOX tank. Through extensive testing in Texas, SpaceX has shown that it can re-create a COPV failure entirely through helium loading conditions. These conditions are mainly affected by the temperature and pressure of the helium being loaded.
SpaceX’s efforts are now focused on two areas – finding the exact root cause, and developing improved helium loading conditions that allow SpaceX to reliably load Falcon 9. With the advanced state of the investigation, we also plan to resume stage testing in Texas in the coming days, while continuing to focus on completion of the investigation. This is an important milestone on the path to returning to flight.
Despite the fact that they have not yet pinpointed the reason for the accident, they have said that they plan to resume stage testing in Texas in the “coming days” and they hope to resume flight scedules by the end of the year.
This is great for SpaceX as they are going to have to do a lot of testing before they can finally launch to Mars.
You can read more about the latest updates at the source link below.