SpaceX Telecon on Falcon 1 Launch Failure

SpaceX Determines Cause of Falcon 1 Launch Failure

"According to Elon Musk: We have a definitive understanding of what went wrong on Flight 3. The problem was due to a design error not a production or quality assurance issue. The thrust transient was longer than it was for the prior flight. The previous flight had an ablatively cooled engine. Flight 3 had a regeneratively cooled engine. The gap between engine cut off and staging was 1.5 seconds - which was fine for the ablatively cooled engine on Flight 2. But on Flight 3, with the regeneratively cooled engine, there was some residual thrust after engine shut down and this caused the first stage to be pushed back toward the second stage after separation and there was a recontact between the stages."

Editor's note: SpaceX puts everything on line - live - and comes back with a cogent failure analysis within a matter of days - for all the world to see. Contrast this with NASA's Ares/Constellation program wherein test failures are hidden and design flaws are suppressed.

I think I know who will get hardware on-orbit first.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 7, 2008 12:43 AM.

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