According to the Government Accountability Office reports, SpaceX Falcon 9 will not take to air anytime soon since the airship suffers from persistent cracking. A preliminary investigation that looked at rockets manufactured by both SpaceX, as well as its competitor, Boeing, revealed that airships funded by Elon Musk are not fitted for future manned missions.
The investigators say that the cracking issues stem from a pattern of various problems with the turbine blades that deliver fuel to the Falcon 9’s engines. Because these components have been found prone to cracking, the engineers are now forced to come up with an entirely new design of the rocket’s turbopumps since the one used up to this point is regarded as a major threat to the safety of both the craft, as well as its potential occupants.
Government Accountability Office’s report will be made public at some point during the upcoming weeks and will mark the first public disclosure of such magnitude in relation to the SpaceX Falcon 9 aircraft. In spite of the issues partially disclosed only recently, however, government officials say these problems have been known to occur in crafts launched as recently as September, last year.
The report comes only as a continuation of a string of misfortune Elon Musk’s rockets experienced in the past months. Last year, in September, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets exploded shortly after liftoff on the launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, taking down with it the AMOS-6, Spacecom’s communication satellite. The AMOS-6 was meant to be launched into orbit in order to provide several parts of Africa with internet connectivity.
After the incident, most of the companies that were considering to launch with Elon Musk’s SpaceX backed off. Furthermore, future launches had been postponed because of the investigations underway at the time. Hence, SpaceX’s next launch was pushed to January 2017 from December 2016 and postponed yet again because of inclement weather.
Ultimately, GAO officials said that neither Boeing nor SpaceX will be able to meet their goals of launching manned missions in Earth’s orbit until 2018.
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