The company determined the September explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket during pre-launch testing was caused by the failure of one of three high-pressure helium tanks used to pressurize the liquid oxygen tank used for the rocket’s second stage.
“Specifically, the investigation team concluded the failure was likely due to the accumulation of oxygen between the COPV liner and overwrap in a void or a buckle in the liner,” the company statement said. Corrective actions were applied.On January 8 it will be a commercial mission that will launch from Vandenburg Air Force Base near Los Angeles, California. The Falcon 9 will carry 10 Iridium NEXT satellite telephone relay stations into Earth orbit. A cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS), as required under SpaceX’s contract with NASA, will also launch at an yet unspecified moment.