SpaceX announces possible cause of 1 September, Falcon 9 explosion, and conducts test of future Mars rocket engine

by | Sep 28, 2016 | Commercial human spaceflight, exploration, Personal spaceflight, SpaceX, Technology, test | 0 comments

On 23 September, SpaceX released a statement explaining the progress they had made in the investigation into the cause of the Falcon 9 “anomaly” in the run-up to the AMOS-6 mission. It stated that “…the Accident Investigation Team (AIT), composed of SpaceX, the FAA, NASA, the US Air Force and industry experts…” had made a preliminary assessment that “a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place.”.

It remains unknown what the cause of this breach was, however, it has been determined that there is no connection to the second-stage anomaly that destroyed the CRS-7 mission in 2015.

On 26 September, the SpaceX company was able to release some good news, namely the successful first test of their next generation methane/liquid oxygen Raptor engine.

The new engine is designed to produce over 3 million Newtons (675,000 lbs) of thrust, and will ideally operate with a specific impulse of 382s. The engine will form the basis of the “Interplanetary Transport System”, previously called the “Mars Colonial Transport”, designed to carry around 100 colonists, plus cargo, to Mars and eventually to other destinations throughout the Solar System. The first-stage of this rocket will utilise 42 Raptor engines, whilst, the second-stage uses nine.

About Seradata

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

For more information go to

Related Articles

Dragon CRS-24 launch by SpaceX Falcon 9 marks final supply run of 2021

On 21 December, NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the Dragon CRS-24 (Commercial Resupply Services-24) spacecraft at 1007 GMT using a Read more

Crew Dragon – NASA Crew 2 undocks from the ISS and returns to Earth…then Crew Dragon – NASA Crew 3 is launched by Falcon 9 on way to space station

On 8 November 2021 at 1905 GMT, Crew Dragon - NASA Crew 2 Endeavour autonomously undocked from the IDA-3 /PMA-3 Read more

Bezos and Blue Origin bow out of legal battle to get lunar lander contract after court goes against them

“Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on Read more

UK Ministry of Defence forgets its past loyalties and chooses SpaceX over Arianespace to launch its Skynet 6A comsat

The UK Ministry of Defence has surprised the pan-European launch provider Arianespace by selecting a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch for Read more

Blue Origin sues NASA after losing contract for Human Landing System (Updated)

Blue Origin’s disagreement with NASA over its failure to win a contract for the Human Landing System (HLS) finally reached Read more

SpaceX secures “go-to-launch provider” status from Planet and another lunar lander mission

Planet, the operator of an LEO CubeSat constellation numbering over 200 units, has designated SpaceX as its “go-to-launch provider” until Read more

SpaceX proposes to buy CubeSat constellation builder Swarm Technologies

It appears that on 16 July SpaceX approached Swarm Technologies with a purchase offer that would see it become a Read more

US$178 million Europa Clipper launch is formally awarded to SpaceX Falcon Heavy saving NASA US$2 billion

While NASA's US$4.25 billion Europa Clipper unmanned exploration flyby mission to Jupiter's moon Europa was always mooted as going on Read more