Space X declared that the company found out what caused the explosion on the Falcon 9 on September 1st. This explosion also destroyed a communications satellite that was going to be used by Facebook to provide internet access to different parts of the world. After this discovery, they say they will be flying again on mid-December.
Elon Musk, Space X, SolarCity and Tesla CEO, commented on a speech he gave to the National Reconnaissance Office that the liquid oxygen they use as propellant became excessively cold, turning itself into a solid state, according to a transcript received by Space News, as reported by the Verge.
This probably had an adverse reaction with one of the rocket’s liquid helium pressure vessels. These ships, which are covered in carbon made of fiber, are the ones that fill and make pressure to the space that creates when the propellant leaves the tank.
Adding up the solid oxygen and the fiber carbon of the vessels, they could have caught on fire and led to the explosion of the rocket.
No more information was given regarding this topic, and Elon Musk said the company would not say anything more. It is known that the solid oxygen was part of the problem but is still unclear what started everything and the oxygen go into a solid state.
Reported by the Verge, there are speculations made by the New York Times saying that if liquid helium was used for the pressuring of the vessels, that could have been cold enough to freeze the oxygen.
The company announced that they are now focusing in their vessels and have recreated the accident in their laboratories in Texas.
Space X declared that his had been the most challenging mystery to solve and are now confident on what they found to return to flight on mid-December.
Source: The Verge