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SpaceX investigation into rocket explosion considering all possibilities

By Shawn Knight
Oct 3, 2016
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  1. SpaceX last month suffered a pretty serious setback when one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded on the launch pad during a routine pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

    A week or so later, SpaceX chief Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that the accident was turning out to be one of the most difficult and complex failures they’ve ever dealt with. In hopes of determining what went wrong, Musk asked the public to submit any footage they may have taken to aid in the investigation.

    Musk at that time said they hadn’t ruled out the possibility that a foreign object may have caused the explosion and according to a recent report from The Washington Post, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    The Post, citing three industry officials with knowledge of the matter, claims SpaceX had still images from a video that seemingly showed an odd shadow followed by a white spot on the roof of a building roughly a mile away with a clear line of sight to the launch pad. The building in question is currently being leased by SpaceX rival United Launch Alliance (ULA).

    As the story goes, a SpaceX employee visited the facility two weeks after the explosion to further look into the matter. The visit was said to be cordial with SpaceX simply wanting to investigate all leads but ULA denied them access and instead contacted the Air Force (which is helping SpaceX with the investigation).

    The Air Force investigators found nothing of interest on the ULA building’s roof, the Post reports.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,549   +852

    No better way to gain hatred of the entire human race than to sabotage space travel. I find it hard to believe anyone that was sane would think that was a good idea.
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,660   +767

    The probability of hitting the space craft at that range is extremely rare and NASA's investigative team will easily find the evidence if it exists. More likely is a static discharge around the hydrogen tanks that were leaking or venting. It's certainly not the first time that has happened and since Space-X doesn't triple their redundancies it does increase the possibility. He's wise to keep an open mind but with the number of microphones and video equipment that are around the cape, the report of a gunshot would be easily detected, no matter how well silenced......
     
  4. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Enthusiast Posts: 91   +47

    The Greys might not want this to work.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  5. mccartercar

    mccartercar TS Booster Posts: 134   +25

    Understand "The Greys" have no direct motive for trying to stop us from doing anything. "The Greys" are just workers anyways and answer to a higher authority. Even so, there would be no logical reason to engage in such menial behavior to achieve petty results. Aliens would have simply made it not work, as seen through the years as their primary defense, as they are against anything being blown up as they are well aware of how important this place is and always will be.

    Misdirection is key to any good sabotage. What you didn't see is that the rocket was completely void of any of the hardware it was supposed to have on it and instead placed full of dummy shrapnel. The real question is, who is Musk actually working for? :p
     
  6. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +940

    unless you have the terawatt lasers that lachheed-martin has been testing. Then a quick pulse with a direct line of sight is entirely plausible.

    Now, look, a lot of people are going to give me various amounts of grief for this for a number of reasons that I don't feel like addressing. I also don't believe in the sabotage idea, but the fact of the matter is that Boeing and Lockheed-Martin have been developing military weapons in secret for what is essentially longer than the life spans of most of the people who browse this board. If anyone would have the tech to do something of this level, it would be them.

    However, I doubt that had anything to do with it. Until I see a formal explanation from SpaceX what happened, I will hold that opinion as nothing more than conspiracy.

    Further, anyone trying to come up with an answer in the comments as to what happened is full of it. We have what seems to be all the evidence as to what happened in front of us. Think of it like this, Aliens aren't an explanation for things just because we, ourselves, can't come up with a better explanation.

    This could be from a loose gasket, a bolt not torqued to tolerance. These are complex devices that none of us here understand making any speculation at all a waste of keystrokes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,673   +1,873

    You know, most "conspiracy theorists" live in their mom's basement and spend too much time watching X-Files reruns.

    In this case, it's Elon Musk starting the "they're out to get me again", persecution complex, bullsh!t conspiracy theories of his own, and with his typical self absorbed reasons for doing so.

    Elon Musk believes he can do no wrong. But much more importantly, he feels it absolutely necessary to convince everyone within range of any device for listening whatsoever, that he can do no wrong. Elon Musk has a desperate emotional need to draw attention away from any of his failures, this incident being no exception.

    Be realistic, if Elon's little rocket ship blew up because of mechanical failure, all those lucrative contracts he's been harvesting might dry up rather quickly.

    The simple fact of the matter is, that for his own purposes, the explosion HAD to have been of outside origin, and the **shole is doing everything he can to milk all the sympathy out of it which is humanly possible.

    The last issue was Tesla lost a quarter million dollars last quarter, what did Musk do? He created a diversion, blabbering about spacesuits has was "having designed for his mission to Mars". These events happened within days of each other, and anybody that was a coincidence, should strap on a dunce cap, and go sit in a corner.

    Yeah, that's more like it
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  8. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    Man, I thought it was those birds doing attack swipes at the rocket. :p
     
    ikesmasher likes this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,035   +269

    Yes, it is and from a much greater distance, too. I think we are on the same page.

    Since that would happen at the speed of light, there would be no shadow as supposedly seen in one of the videos or photos according to the story. With the size of the holes that those weapons leave, it is entirely possible that evidence of such a hole would remain even after a catastrophic event like a rocket explosion. IMO, the shadow that was seen is more likely an artifact of the particular camera rather than something founded in reality.

    In a technically complicated venture like this, there are literally millions of things that could go wrong. The task of finding the true cause is very difficult but not impossible. As I see it, it is a task that is very daunting. There was a great movie called "The Challenger Disaster" with William Hurt playing Richard Feynman that related the difficulty of such a task.

    Musk is under great pressure to figure it out, and under such pressure, it is often human nature to blame something or someone else so that the pressure on one's self is relieved at least momentarily. I see it as much more likely that it was some mechanical failure rather than a conspiracy directed against SpaceX.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  10. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Considering all possibilities EXCEPT the most obvious one: We screwed up
    or on a potentially more contentious note:
    that what you get for hiring all those poorly trained immigrants and those failures of the American educational system (or were they actually the successes, something for the theorists to ponder) for minimum wage on contract work.
    but what do I know, have no idea who built the thing..but isn't capitalism based on to make a profit you gotta keep costs low and since employees are usually the largest single expense....
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  11. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 258   +89

    In the meantime, Russian RD-180 rockets or whatever the model is will continued to be used by NASA to keep the ISS going with supply runs.
     

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