|A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida April 8, 2016 in this handout photo provided by SpaceX. REUTERS/SpaceX/Handout via Reuters|
I invite you to watch the Mars series on National Geographic (trailer below). It appeals to me because all science fiction is speculative, but the series does a superb job of juxtaposition between what is being planned and discussed now and projecting how it might be carried out in the future. Part of our journey to other worlds as a space faring species will be in stuttered, baby steps until the profoundly difficult becomes routine.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to resume flying rockets next week following an investigation into why one of them burst into flames on a launch pad four months ago, the company said on Monday.
In a statement, SpaceX said it expected to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Jan. 8 to put 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc.
SpaceX had suspended flights after the same model rocket went up in a blaze on Sept. 1 as it was being fueled for a routine pre-launch test in Florida.
The explosion at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida destroyed the $62 million rocket and a $200 million communications satellite.
Space X, owned and operated by Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Officer Musk, has a backlog of more than 70 missions for NASA and commercial customers, worth more than $10 billion.
The company statement said that accident investigators concluded that a canister of helium inside the rocket’s upper-stage oxygen tank had exploded.
In the short term, SpaceX plans to revamp its fueling procedures so that the super-cold liquid oxygen will not build up between the helium tank’s liner and its outer covering, it added.
SpaceX said accumulation of oxygen in a void or buckle in the liner most likely led to the explosion.
Reuters Science: SpaceX aims for Jan. 8 return to flight with Falcon rocket
Reporting by Irene Klotz, Editing by W Simon