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SpaceX
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SpaceX

  #201 (permalink)
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The cause of the blast is not clear and it is not known if anyone was hurt.

Nasa said SpaceX was test-firing a rocket which was due to take a satellite into space this weekend.

Pictures from the scene show a huge plume of smoke rising above the complex.

The force of the blast shook buildings several miles away.

SpaceX has used its Falcon-9 rocket to take supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).


On BBC News

The engine weren't even lit!

This rocket business isn't for the faint of heart. Satellite valued at 198 million was lost as well, the vehicle and then whatever damage to the launch pad. From some people close by saying they heard 20 explosions I guarantee lots of stuff on the ground blew up ... What a shitty day ...

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tgibbs View Post
The engine weren't even lit!

This rocket business isn't for the faint of heart. Satellite valued at 198 million was lost as well, the vehicle and then whatever damage to the launch pad. From some people close by saying they heard 20 explosions I guarantee lots of stuff on the ground blew up ... What a shitty day ...

Is it a new rocket or one of the recovered ones?

Hope Elon made the insurance payment this month. I can't even imagine the amount of work required to recover.

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  #203 (permalink)
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Is it a new rocket or one of the recovered ones?

Hope Elon made the insurance payment this month. I can't even imagine the amount of work required to recover.

New rocket ... Usually insurance won't cover this sort of thing. The satellite company carries insurance and I guess it would cover it here, I don't know the fine print on that coverage.

I have some really bad feelings about this one ...

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  #205 (permalink)
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A shame.

Interesting that it starts just below the payload shell.

Then the major bang is when the payload hits the deck, much more volatile detonation from it's fuel.

Probably some kid with an over-driven laser pointer First thing that came to mind as I used to blow up stuff all the time with my 2W (bit bigger) until dad found out I'd boosted it a tad. Mistake showing him that burned through house brick..

I must download the 1080p 60fps and have a closer look..


Last edited by Rory; September 1st, 2016 at 03:27 PM.
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A shame.

Interesting that it starts just below the payload shell.

Then the major bang is when the payload hits the deck, much more volatile detonation from it's fuel.

Probably some kid with an over-driven laser pointer First thing that came to mind as I used to blow up stuff all the time with my 2W (bit bigger) until dad found out I'd boosted it a tad. Mistake showing him that burned through house brick..

I must download the 1080p 60fps and have a closer look..

Those cameras are miles away. The first "minor" explosion you hear is the 2nd stage blowing, to me it looks like the common dome between the propellants let loose, mixed the props and then blew it all up. 2nd big explosion is the 1st stage blowing up. The payload falls at the same time but the amount of propellants onboard is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the vehicle.

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  #207 (permalink)
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Something to remember is all the propellants are separated during the filling of the vehicle. I was the lead test engineer on an old stage that we blew up in Texas (not on purpose). The upper stage oxygen tank let loose at the very top in a known defect area. There was zero fire and the kerosene in the lower tank was all recovered except for maybe 200 pounds worth. There are pictures of this somewhere on the interwebs ... Also view the in flight failure, no fire in comparison to all the propellants on board, the vehicle just fell apart effectively. This one literally blew from a mixture of propellant issue, similar to the grasshopper vehicle that blew up. Big fire works.

I have some ideas on what happened but nothing to back them up except past experience. All those secondary explosions were GSE tanks on the ground which means the entire pad within 100 feet of the rocket is toast. Horrible day ... From the video you can see the sphere white ball on the far right, that's the liquid oxygen tank and it survived so I'm guessing the kerosene farm is ok as well. Probably helium and nitrogen tanks that were blowing up.

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  #208 (permalink)
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tgibbs View Post
Those cameras are miles away. The first "minor" explosion you hear is the 2nd stage blowing, to me it looks like the common dome between the propellants let loose, mixed the props and then blew it all up. 2nd big explosion is the 1st stage blowing up. The payload falls at the same time but the amount of propellants onboard is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the vehicle.

Indeed, I had compensated for the sound travel time in my head but I should have more clearly differentiated between explosion and smaller detonation (supersonic shock-wave). I'm assuming the payload stage propellant was more energetic if it went off.

1080p FBF does not really give a clue, wait for the report.


Last edited by Rory; September 1st, 2016 at 04:40 PM.
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Indeed, I had compensated for the sound travel time in my head but I should have more clearly differentiated between explosion and smaller detonation (supersonic shock-wave). I'm assuming the payload propellant was more energetic if it went off.

1080p FBF does not really give a clue, wait for the report.

It was probably normal hyperbolic propellants on the space craft, Isp efficiency numbers are very similar but they light on contact so more volatile that way.

Watching the video again is making me sick

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tgibbs View Post
It was probably normal hyperbolic propellants on the space craft, Isp efficiency numbers are very similar but they light on contact so more volatile that way.

Watching the video again is making me sick

I can imagine. As a kid a retired friend was a senior engineer on the Saturn Vs among others. I recall him marveling that they got away with it so many times. He joked that he'd stick a lump of coal up his ass before launch and if it went wrong he'd have the diamond as severance pay The idea has kind of stuck with me in my trading.

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