SpaceX: Rocket Failure Linked To Cryogenic Helium System Breach

Hawthorne-based SpaceX said on Friday that it believes the catastrophic failure of one of its Falcon 9 rockets last month were related to a "large breach" in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage, liquid oxygen tank on the Falcon 9. The company released an extensive update on the failure at Cape Canaveral, which occurred as it was preparing a "static launch test" of the rocket. That test had not yet been started. SpaceX said that the majority of the debris from the accident has been "been recovered, photographed, labeled and catalogued", and is now in a hangar for inspection and use during the investigation. Accordingly to SpaceX, the failure occurred suddenly--in less than 1/10th of a second--but that so far, it's been able to determine the failure does not have any connection with its mishap last year with its CRS-7 mission.


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