All were shocked by the sudden explosion that took down SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on September 1st. The launch was scheduled to take place from the Cape Canaveral launch pad. However, in a tragic turn of events, the rocket exploded, also destroying the payload — an internet.org satellite. Despite numerous investigations and theories, nothing concrete as to the sudden explosion as surfaced. This has prompted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to come out in the public and ask for help in solving the riddle.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Friday and said that yes, SpaceX was still working on investigating the incident. However, it appears that the company isn’t making particular headway with regards to finding out the cause of the accident. Musk went as far as to say that the series of event that caused the freakish accident were turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure SpaceX has ever had in 14 years.
In fact, some the findings of the ongoing investigations have made the case even more convoluted. As per Musk, the engines were not active at the time and therefore, there shouldn’t have been any heat source to trigger the blast at all. Also, a quieter bang sound was observed moments before the explosion occurred and the rocket and the accompanying payload turned into a huge, messed up ball of fire.
Disturbingly, Musk has also not ruled out the possibility of a third party having a hand in the explosion. In case you are unaware of the situation, various YouTube videos and posts have surfaced that are claiming that an external object struck the rocket moments before the explosion occurred — and in fact, may even have led to the blast. In response to a user asking if there was any element of truth in these rumors, Musk uncharacteristically said that SpaceX had not ruled out the possibility of the same.
An external object that destroyed a rocket and a payload? Sure, rockets are full of a whole lot of very combustible fuel. However, the Falcon 9’s are no paper planes that can be destroyed by any thrown rock.
The SpaceX CEO has asked users to forward any material associated with the explosion to SpaceX to the e-mail [email protected] The material may also include any video footage associated with the launch-off.
This public call for help raises some serious questions. Surely SpaceX had taken appropriate measures to ensure that the event was being recorded. There are some who are claiming that the blast occurred because of some complacency on the company’s part — a complacency which may have stemmed from a series of successful launches.
Weather complacency or foul play — surely the niche hasn’t gotten so competitive? — the explosion has the potential to seriously setback SpaceX’s drive to establish itself as the private carrier for space flights — particularly if the investigations fail to yield any concrete results. And that is not even mentioning the economic issues, what with demands of a free, recompensation flight.
Be that as may, this issue need to be resolved quickly — and the faith in private space carriers . Let’s hope that Elon Musk’s public appeal manages to speed SpaceX along its investigations.