Elon Musk Confirms April Rocket Test Accident at SpaceX

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Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, disclosed earlier this month that a test mishap had resulted in an out-of-shape rocket booster prototype pipe. There is currently construction and testing going on in Boca Chica of SpaceX’s Starship Next Generation Launch System, and earlier this month the company returned the booster prototype from the launch pad to its development facilities due to an incident which caused a large fireball at the rocket’s bottom.

image credits: wccftech

An interview with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, in which Musk discussed the architecture of SpaceX’s Raptor 2 rocket engine and other important new details, including Musk’s remarks on the topic.

In the Raptor 2 engine, SpaceX has included new igniters that CEO Elon Musk refers to as a “secret sauce”

Starship’s Booster 7 prototype was subjected to a pressurisation test during the investigation. Booster 7’s downcomer pipe flattened down during a test run done by SpaceX in April, and photographs of the flattened pipe began to circulate on social media platforms immediately after the test. Fuel is transported to the rocket engines through the downcomer, which passes through the liquid oxygen tank because the tank is placed on top of it.

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The downcomer must be able to bear these pressures as well, because the tanks on a rocket must be pressurised to preserve structural integrity. However, in the April test, the rocket section was damaged, therefore this was not the case. Despite the fact that SpaceX did not disclose the incident at the time, the rocket was returned to SpaceX’s testing facilities once the disaster was discovered.

The 230-foot rocket was transported back to SpaceX’s facilities, where it was repaired, and then shipped back to the launch pad in under two weeks, proving that the company’s philosophy of moving quickly is indeed genuine. Now, Mr. Musk has confirmed the accident in an interview with Everyday Astronaut on YouTube, the CEO detailing that:

During the Booster 7 test, the LOX transfer tube partially collapsed, which caused a minor difficulty. As a result, we’ll enter the room and replace the LOX transfer tube that broke. We’ll have to fix that for a week at the most.

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Another SpaceX employee chimed in to say how important it is for the firm to be able to learn from its failures. In contrast to traditional aerospace companies and government agencies, SpaceX swiftly creates, tests, fails, and then adjusts its designs to account for the failures. Unlike traditional aerospace companies and government agencies. Using this strategy, SpaceX has become the only firm in the world can launch and land medium-lift rockets into and out of space.

Musk also talked about the architecture of his company’s newest rocket engine’s igniter during the conversation. SpaceX’s Raptor 2 engines will power the Starship, and the engines’ igniters are responsible for igniting pre-mixed fuel and oxidizer.

The executive said that the new igniters are an unique SpaceX design and are situated inside the engine, which prevents him from providing any technical data that may affect U.S. security interests.

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