SpaceX Might Face Up to 1 Year Suspension After Rocket Explosion
SpaceX was shaken by an unfortunate event on Sept. 1 when a Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled to bring Facebook's Internet satellite to space, exploded while being fueled. It is definitely a big loss to SpaceX, Facebook and the satellite developer, but to add to that, Elon Musk's commercial space flight company might be suspended for up to one year due to the incident.
The explosion that took place in Cape Canaveral Air For Base launch pad in Florida is a shock not only to SpaceX but also to everyone involved with the Falcon 9 scheduled flight. Although CEO, Elon Musk still hasn't revealed the full extent of damages incurred because of the incident, it could be undeniably huge.
After the confirmation of the explosion, Musk revealed that the cause of the incident remains unknown. The company is conducting an investigation to identify the cause of the "anomaly."
"Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a Tweet.
Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2016
Musk insisted that during the routine filling operation, none of the engines were turned off and there was no apparent heat source. The commercial space flight company is digging deeper into the incident by saying that investigators are now looking at a bang that was heard few seconds before the blast. According to Musk, the origin of the sound may be from the rocket but may also be from something else.
To aid with the investigation, SpaceX is also calling out to anyone who has a recording of the operation when the explosion occurred to further analyze the incident. But it seems like the company is also receiving help from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force as the CEO expressed his appreciation for the said agencies, according to BBC.
However, SpaceX may be facing a bigger problem as one of its competitors, United Launch Alliance told reporters that the commercial space flight company may face suspension while authorities investigate the incident. "It typically takes nine to 12 months for people to return to flight. That's what the history is," Tory Bruno, chief executive of United Launch Alliance said in a statement. "It's a small community and issues especially around safety -- but even mission success -- kind of transcend the competitive piece of this."
Bruno added that the damage to the launch pad is not the issue. That is why a lot of people are waiting for the official report on how much the damage was to SpaceX and it's Falcon 9. The Israel-made Facebook satellite destroyed in the explosion amounts to $200 million.
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