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SpaceX: Accident points to breach in rocket’s helium system

SpaceX says a breach in its rocket's helium system may have caused the devastating explosion three weeks ago at Cape Canaveral.

By: | Cape Canaveral | Published: September 24, 2016 1:19 AM
SpaceX says a breach in its rocket's helium system may have caused the devastating explosion three weeks ago at Cape Canaveral. (Reuters) SpaceX says a breach in its rocket’s helium system may have caused the devastating explosion three weeks ago at Cape Canaveral. (Reuters)

SpaceX says a breach in its rocket’s helium system may have caused the devastating explosion three weeks ago at Cape Canaveral. The Falcon rocket and a satellite were destroyed in the September 1 explosion, which occurred on the pad during prelaunch testing. Most of the wreckage has been recovered and is being analyzed.

In an update today, SpaceX says it’s still poring through video, audio and data from the moment the first sign of a problem occurs, until the actual fireball. That timeline covers less than one-tenth of one second. The data and debris indicate “a large breach” in the helium system of the second-stage liquid oxygen tank.

SpaceX is looking at all possible causes. The company said launches could resume as early as November.

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