Falcon 9: AMOS-6 commsat (mission thread)


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+John.

Seems the sounds were important! That idea got panned pretty quickly by the NSF lot. At least SpaceX are starting to make sense of it, the NSF thread is an absolute minefield right now

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DocM

Uh-oh

 

c515afab9b921531bcb0accafef23683.jpg

 

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Beittil

Way to call the USLaunchReport video the 'official video record' because they edited in SpaceX's initial statement :x

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Unobscured Vision

Interesting that they aren't ruling out sabotage ... my, my.

 

We can bet there will be a lot more cameras, sensors, and other gear looking at Rockets that are on-pad from now on. They'll be at different angles, different distances, and they'll be waaaaaay higher framerate. Lack of data isn't going to be acceptable in the future. Not after this. 

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Jim K

I don't think them ruling out sabotage is troubling  ... it's just that they haven't found the cause of the "fast fire".  

 

This part of the Jerusalem Journal article ...

"American experts are speculating about a large, black unidentified object picked up by video footage. It was seen hovering in the sky at the moment the fireball rose over the Cape Canaveral launching pad."

 

...that was a bird.  You can see one fly past very quickly a few seconds prior to the other "unidentified object" as the rocket commenced RUD.

 

Anyway, I honestly do not think it was sabotage.  No idea what caused it or I would call up Musk ... 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jim K

Preliminary findings

 

http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates

 

Quote

Three weeks ago, SpaceX experienced an anomaly at our Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This resulted in the loss of one of our Falcon 9 rockets and its payload.

 

The Accident Investigation Team (AIT), composed of SpaceX, the FAA, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and industry experts, are currently scouring through approximately 3,000 channels of engineering data along with video, audio and imagery. The timeline of the event is extremely short – from first signs of an anomaly to loss of data is about 93 milliseconds or less than 1/10th of a second. The majority of debris from the incident has been recovered, photographed, labeled and catalogued, and is now in a hangar for inspection and use during the investigation.

 

At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and debris suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place. All plausible causes are being tracked in an extensive fault tree and carefully investigated. Through the fault tree and data review process, we have exonerated any connection with last year’s CRS-7 mishap.

 

The teams have continued inspections of LC-40 and the surrounding facilities. While substantial areas of the pad systems were affected, the Falcon Support Building adjacent to the pad was unaffected, and per standard procedure was unoccupied at the time of the anomaly. The new liquid oxygen farm – e.g. the tanks and plumbing that hold our super-chilled liquid oxygen – was unaffected and remains in good working order. The RP-1 (kerosene) fuel farm was also largely unaffected. The pad’s control systems are also in relatively good condition.

 

SpaceX’s other facilities, from the Payload Processing Facility at the Cape, to the pad and hangar at LC-39A, are located several miles from LC-40 and were unaffected as well. Work continues at Pad 39A in preparation for bringing it online in November. The teams have been in contact with our Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center partners and neighbors and have found no evidence of debris leaving the immediate area of LC-40.

 

At SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, our manufacturing and production is continuing in a methodical manner, with teams continuing to build engines, tanks, and other systems as they are exonerated from the investigation. We will work to resume our manifest as quickly as responsible once the cause of the anomaly has been identified by the Accident Investigation Team. Pending the results of the investigation, we anticipate returning to flight as early as the November timeframe.

Other efforts, including the Commercial Crew Program with NASA, are continuing to progress. Getting back to flight safely and reliably is our top priority, and the data gathered from the present investigation will result in an even safer and more reliable vehicle for our customers and partners.

 

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Beittil

Such a shame that the 2ND stage turns out to be such a problem child, quite the opposite from the 1st stage that is champing it like a badass.

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DocM

The helium system is a rather large bit of plumbing, and healium leaks easily being among the smallest atoms/molecules. 

 

Them saying this is unrelated to CRS-7 takes the struts failed Heim joint and the COPV rocketing up & breaking a helium line off the table.

 

Now, did the plumbing itself fail, or did some other item kill it? 

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Emn1ty
11 minutes ago, flyingskippy said:

Just take a look at the headline, the last paragraph listing all the congressman signing it, and you will know exactly what is going on.... 

 

http://spacenews.com/congressmen-seek-answers-about-falcon-9-accident/

Unlike a government agency, I think SpaceX is actually interested in knowing the real reason why their rocket exploded. An external investigation would be needed if you've reason to believe that SpaceX wouldn't actually try to figure that out. Sheesh, a waste of time.

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Unobscured Vision

Nothing to see here except the usual squawking from ULA-Sponsored jackwagons. It's a purely political showpiece, and nothing more.

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

Short instagram video of the LC-40 cleanup. At the NRO event Musk said it should be ready for launches April or May 2017.

 

 

 

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DocM

Not a really fancy weldup, they'll have it fixed or a new one pretty fast. Probably with lessons learned from LC-39A.

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  • 2 months later...
Jim K

Anomaly Update for AMOS-6

Quote

/snip

 

The accident investigation team worked systematically through an extensive fault tree analysis and concluded that one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the second stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank failed. Specifically, the investigation team concluded the failure was likely due to the accumulation of oxygen between the COPV liner and overwrap in a void or a buckle in the liner, leading to ignition and the subsequent failure of the COPV.

 

Each stage of 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.

 

/snip

 

More at SpaceX

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DocM

Solid oxygen forming and being shoved into carbon at high presure is all kinds of trouble.

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