SpaceX reveals chain of events that caused the unplanned disassembly of Crew Dragon capsule | 7/16/2019 | Staff
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SpaceX has posted an update on the investigation into the destruction of its Crew Dragon test vehicle in April.

In short, it was a leak and a dodgy valve wot dunnit.

Incident - UTC - April - SpaceX - Fire

The incident happened at 18:13 UTC on 20 April while SpaceX was conducting static fire engine tests atop a test stand at the company's Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The infamous (and subsequently pulled) video showed the capsule exploding as the company prepared to fire the eight SuperDraco thrusters for a final time during the test. The SuperDracos are designed to push the spacecraft away from a failing Falcon 9 and are only to be used in the event of a launch escape scenario.

Draco - Thrusters - Spacecraft - Heritage - Dragon

The 12 Draco thrusters used to manoeuvre the spacecraft, which have heritage from the Dragon cargo freighter, had already been tested.

A review of the data showed that the "anomaly" happened approximately 100 milliseconds before the SuperDracos were due to fire.

Results - Investigation - Demonstrate - SpaceX - Problem

The results of the investigation demonstrate just how fortunate SpaceX has been to catch the problem before a crew was shoved into the capsule.

A leaking component allowed liquid oxidiser (nitrogen tetroxide) to find its way into high-pressure helium tubes during ground processing. A slug of that oxidiser was driven through a helium...
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