Falcon 9R failure: It was a snapped strut holding down a helium tank what done it

by | Jul 21, 2015 | Launches, Seradata News, SpaceX | 0 comments

The preliminary conclusion of an investigation into the SpaceX Falcon 9R (v1.1R) launch failure, which exploded 2 minutes 19 seconds after launch on 28 June 2015 destroying a Dragon CRS-7 cargo and eight Flock 1F satellites, is that it was caused by an oxygen tank being over pressurised by helium.

Specifically, by using acoustic detector readings, it was found that a strut holding down one of helium tanks inside the oxygen tank had snapped (probably near the bolt attachment point). This caused a short helium leak, which allowed helium to over-pressurise and blow up the second-stage oxygen tank. Engineers “heard” the strut snap using recordings from sound detectors aboard and they were able to locate which one it was using acoustic triangulation.

Elon Musk who both heads up the SpaceX firm and acts as its Chief Technology Officer noted that the helium tank’s buoyancy inside the oxygen tank actually increases with rocket acceleration and snapped off at 3.2g.  stage rocket engine.

The failure and its subsequent remedial actions is likely to delay all Falcon 9 flights until at least September, and has delayed the maiden demonstration flight of the Falcon 9 Heavy from late 2015 to April 2016.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekaressoyuzIGTInternational Space StationRocket LabBeidouawardsBlue OriginspaceStarlinkSatellite broadcastingrussiamoonAirbus DSboeingISROCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchOneWebspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122SLSNorthrop GrummanChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5missile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010ElectronLong March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterLong March 4BUK Space AgencySpace Systems/LoralKuaizhou 1AlawsApollokscUS Air ForceprotonILSTalulah RileydarpaElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatNorth KoreaSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.