Just a few days ago SpaceX He put it together Spaceship space rocket consisting of the first stage Very difficult and from the higher level Ship (in particular these are Booster 9 and Ship 25). This suggested that some news could be announced soon. Shortly afterwards something actually happened, with the announcement of theDO on the completion of the investigation into the accident during the first take-off attempt on April 20.
This means that the second attempt to start the largest space rocket ever built It could be a few weeks, although no official date has been announced yet, as changes are still missing to ensure greater security and avoid what happened in the first launch attempt. afterDO (Federal Aviation Administration) also released its statement SpaceX added some details about what happened. We know this.
FAA completes investigation into first SpaceX spacecraft launch
As clarified byDO in his Press release the completion of the investigation of the first launch of the large space rocket of SpaceX This does not mean that the company can immediately attempt a second launch. In fact, this is only part of the process, which includes issuing an amended driver’s license. This document is still missing and therefore Elon Musk’s company is currently not authorized to start again spaceship.
The full documentation is not currently publicly available as there are elements that cannot be distributed via proprietary techniques and technologies. obviously theDO had full access to information thanks to close cooperation with SpaceX and the company itself has clarified some aspects of the causes of the failure of the first attempt at launch.
L’DO He added that the final report predicts this 63 corrective actions The SpaceX You must submit an application before attempting a new launch. Among them are known those that relate to the launch tower, including the orbital launch support (OLM), as well as the support structure. musk he explained that the company has done thousands of updates to both spaceship than to Mechazilla and the launch pad.
To better understand how a company interacts with government agencies, a former manager of SpaceX. Abhi Tripathi (Chief Engineer and Head of Development of Dragon and Crew Dragon) wrote on X that when an event occurs, as occurred on the first attempt to start, SpaceX that the same company that determines the corrective action is responsible for the investigation.
The company had a plan in place ahead of the launch (and possible accident) to investigate what could happen. Once the accident occurs, the FAA officially reviews the plan, investigation findings, and corrective actions. During all pre- and post-launch operations, the FAA remains fully informed of what is happening.
The FAA then provides feedback and evaluation, and changes to corrective actions as needed. In general he writes Tripathi, “Their primary role is to verify and enforce that SpaceX does what SpaceX said it would do once the final report is approved. In reality, 90% or more of the corrective actions could be completed before the report is even formally submitted.”.
The reasons for the failure of the Starship launch attempt
As written above, also in connection with the FAA statements SpaceX He published a note about the first start attempt. The company officially wrote this spaceship In the Gulf of Mexico area it reached an altitude of (approximately) 39 km. During the climb, Super Heavy experienced fires in the lower section resulting in fuel loss, disrupting the connection between the main flight computer and the various subsystems.
This resulted in the thrusters (33 Raptor 2) no longer communicating properly and thus losing control of the space rocket. To ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again, the integrated fire protection system was adapted so that open flames can be extinguished as quickly as possible.
Another problem was the intervention of the so-called Flight Termination System (FTS). Autonomous flight safety system (AFSS). As already mentioned above, this mechanism, which leads to the destruction of the rocket in the event of a malfunction, intervenes late and so on SpaceX Changed how it works to improve responsiveness.
Another change was the installation of an electronic unit for Thrust Vector Control (TVC) instead of a pneumatic unit (as on the Booster 7). By switching from a pneumatic to an electronic unit, the possible causes of errors are reduced. In addition to the changes to spaceship There are also those on the pad, such as installing a steel-framed water-based flame deflector, which generally strengthens the structure. Will it be enough to improve the chances of success? We will find out in the next few weeks.