SpaceX’s second astronaut flight did not end until mid-November, because the red paint dripped into the tiny vents of two rocket engines that had to be replaced immediately.
SpaceX and NASA officials announced the discovery of potentially damaging pollution on Wednesday.
After the GPS satellite stopped launching on October 2, a blocked hole was found. Two of these engines are contaminated with bright red coatings, which protect engine parts during the cleaning process.
Later, SpaceX discovered that two of the nine booster engines on the rocket had the same problem, which would send four astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the second time SpaceX has launched astronauts for NASA after a successful test flight earlier this year.
Engine failure prompted SpaceX and NASA to postpone the launch to November 14, two weeks later than originally planned.
Company vice president Hans Koenigsmann (Hans Koenigsmann) said that new procedures are being implemented to prevent the problem.
Koenigsman told reporters: “For me, it’s important that we catch it before anything happens.” “For us, it’s very important that we fix it and make sure it never happens again. will not occur.”
The blocked vent (located in the engine gas generator) is only one sixteenth of an inch (1.6 mm).
The on-board computer detected the problem and stopped the countdown to October 2 in the last few seconds. Koenigsman said that if it is ignited, the contaminated engine may be severely damaged.
The cleaning process is completed by an external company but has not yet been determined. He pointed out that the problem seems to have only appeared in recent months, affecting brand-new boosters, but did not affect old boosters that have been recycled many times.
After replacing a contaminated engine, SpaceX plans to launch the next satellite from California to NASA on November 10, which will be used to monitor sea level changes.
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