Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Failed strut caused SpaceX rocket blast: CEO Elon Musk
Miami (AFP) July 21, 2015

The explosion last month of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was caused by a failed support piece, or strut, that allowed a helium bottle to burst free inside the rocket's liquid oxygen tank, CEO Elon Musk said Monday.

"One of those struts broke free during flight," Musk told reporters on a conference call to discuss the June 28 blast on what was supposed to be a routine cargo mission to the International Space Station.

"So the helium bottle would have shot to the top of the tank at high speed."

Musk noted that the findings are the preliminary results of a weekslong investigation by the California-based company.

The accident caused NASA to lose $110 million in equipment bound for the astronauts living in orbit, a US space agency spokesman told Congress earlier this month.

"Several hundred struts fly on every Falcon 9 vehicle, with a cumulative flight history of several thousand," SpaceX said in a statement.

"The strut that we believe failed was designed and material certified to handle 10,000 lbs (4,500 kilograms) of force, but failed at 2,000 lbs, a five-fold difference. Detailed close-out photos of stage construction show no visible flaws or damage of any kind."

The struts in question are each two feet (60 centimeters) long and an inch thick, and were furnished to SpaceX by an outside supplier.

"We are not going to use these particular struts in the future," Musk said, adding that the company plans to begin individually testing each strut ahead of future launches.

Musk said SpaceX would return to flight with the Falcon 9 "no sooner than September."

He also said the problem is not expected to delay the company's goal of sending astronauts to space aboard its Dragon spaceship within the next two years.

Musk, the billionaire cofounder of PayPal who also heads Tesla Motors, said that SpaceX had had a seven-year record of safety in flight until the accident happened.

He admitted that SpaceX may have become "a little bit complacent," and that the blast offered an "important lesson" for the future.

The explosion happened just over two minutes after the rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The rocket failure was the third in a series of cargo disasters in the past eight months.

In October, US company Orbital's Antares rocket exploded after launch from Virginia, and in April, Russia lost contact with its Progress cargo ship shortly after liftoff.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Launch Pad at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

More Fidelity for SpaceX In-Flight Abort Reduces Risk
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Jul 03, 2015
Following the successful pad abort test in May, SpaceX began developing a plan that would move its in-flight abort test to provide higher fidelity data and reduce risk to future crews launched to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA and SpaceX agreed to consider this proposed change prior to the mishap of SpaceX's seventh commercial resupply services mission. ... read more

Russia to Land Space Vessel on Moon's Polar Region in 2019

Moon engulfed in permanent, lopsided dust cloud

Crashing comets may explain mysterious lunar swirls

Google Lunar X-Prize meets Yoda

Curiosity rover finds evidence of Mars' primitive continental crust

Never Get Lost on Mars Again With NASA's New Red Planet Map

Opportunity Rover's 7th Mars Winter to Include New Study Area

Opportunity Gets Back to Work

Space crew praises US-Russian 'handshake in space' 40 years on

Planetary Resources' First Spacecraft Successfully Deployed

NASA selects leading-edge concepts for continued study

US selects four astronauts for commercial flight

Chinese earth station is for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes

Cooperation in satellite technology put Belgium, China to forefront

China set to bolster space, polar security

China's super "eye" to speed up space rendezvous

Student satellite wins green light for Station deployment

'Jedi' astronauts say 'no fear' as they gear for ISS trip

Relief as Russian cargo ship docks at space station

Loss of SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission No Threat to ISS Crew Security

Ariane 5 lofts two geo birds for teleco and weather customers

Supporting Arianespace's mission cadence: A new fueling facility is ready

30 launches planned in next three fiscals: ISRO chief

Baikonur Cosmodrome to Be Equipped With Viewing Platforms

Bricks to build an Earth found in every planetary system

Observing the birth of a planet

Precise ages of largest number of stars hosting planets ever measured

Can Planets Be Rejuvenated Around Dead Stars?

Indra Finishes Implementation Of Main Center For Paz Satellite

Yinchuan to host China-Arab satellite service industry demonstration site

New mussel-inspired surgical protein glue

Simulations lead to design of near-frictionless material

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.