The SpaceX program has been halted following the accident last September 1 that destroyed the Falcon 9 rocket. The investigation of the accident continues. SpaceX has hoped to resume launches after the investigation. In a recent interview though Elon Musk has said that the SpaceX Falcon 9 has rescheduled launches to mid-December.
Elon Musk has been interviewed by CNBC last November 4. In the interview, he said that the cause of the explosion has been determined. He said that its cause has never been encountered before in any situation.
As Musk said in the interview, the explosion is related to the interactions within the liquid helium bottles. Aside from helium, the rocket booster has carbon composites and liquid oxygen. Musk describes the liquid oxygen to be so cold that it turns to solid. He revealed in the interview that the cause is so complex that SpaceX is having a hard time dealing with it in its 14 years of operation.
Updates about the investigation have been spotted on the SpaceX website, though it has generally not pointed to the actual cause of the explosion. What has been stated is that there has been a breach in the helium bottle on the second stage liquid oxygen tank. The investigation has not officially declared any cause of the explosion yet.
SpaceX has begun the investigation immediately after the September 1 incident, according to Phys Org. It is coordinating the investigation together with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA and the US Air Force. Other industry experts have also joined in the investigation.
Musk has said in the interview that launches will resume mid-December. He did not reveal though where the launch would take place or what the payload would be, Universe Today reports. SpaceX last October 28 also said that they hope to resume launches before the end of the year.
An earlier explosion involving a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket occurred last June 28, 2015. That explosion also involved the second stage booster, though SpaceX said the two incidents aren't related. SpaceX hopes to have the investigation over before it would resume launches.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has rescheduled launches to mid-December. SpaceX hopes to have its investigation wrapped up before that. NASA also faces issues as its Juno mission to Jupiter is having engine problems.