SpaceX is replacing the two engines on the rocket, which will start the company’s next manned mission, which is scheduled for launch on November 14.
This measure follows an investigation into the abnormal behavior of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which was supposed to launch GPS satellites for the US Space Force on October 2. When the sensor is picked up, lift-off is automatically terminated, and the countdown clock has only two seconds left to exceed the nominal reading.
The upcoming astronaut launch will start SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission to NASA’s International Space Station, and will also use Falcon9. Therefore, NASA and SpaceX postponed the target launch date of Crew-1
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The investigation into the suspension of the accident on October 2 attributed the problem to two of the nine Merlin engines in the first phase of the Falcon 9. Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of Construction and Flight Reliability of SpaceX, said at a press conference on Wednesday (October 28) that the two Merlins retained the residue of a “mask paint” , The paint is designed to protect sensitive parts during anti-corrosion anodizing treatment.
The supplier who performed the treatment did not manage to remove all the varnish afterwards, and some of them eventually blocked the 0.06 inch wide (1.6 mm) vents of the two Merlins valves, which should have been these two. The equipment provides power. Koenigsmann said that Falcon 9 will be on stage on October 2.
After analyzing extensive Merlin data, SpaceX discovered similar problems with the two engines in the first phase of the Crew-1 Falcon 9 and a Merlin in the first phase of the booster originally planned to put down the Sentinel-6. On November 10, Michael Freilich provided Earth observation satellites for NASA and its partners.
Koenigsmann said that SpaceX is now replacing all affected Merlins with substances known to contain no mask paint residue.
The investigation and troubleshooting process carried out by SpaceX with the help of NASA and the Space Force “resulted in a very good review and a very good anomaly solution, which I think will make future aircraft and engines better,” Koenig Sman said.
He said that SpaceX’s security system was operating normally on October 2, and the abnormality was discovered in time and the launch was suspended. Konigsman added that the liftoff that day may not have been catastrophic. Falcon 9 may have experienced a “hard start” caused by the introduction of various fluids (igniter fluid, liquid oxygen and kerosene) in the wrong order in the affected engine.
“It’s not necessarily bad,” he said of the difficult start. “In most cases, it makes the engine rattle, and may cause a little damage to the engine. In extreme cases, it may cause more damage to the engine.”
In the photo: Historic Demo-2 test flight between SpaceX and astronauts
Still in progress
NASA officials said at a press conference on Wednesday that Falcon 9 should be ready for Crew-1, which is scheduled to launch on November 14, although they emphasized that the mission will be launched when it is ready and will not be time limit.
Steve Stich (Steve Stich) said that NASA hopes to see another Falcon 9 flying before the astronauts launch-specifically, this is a suspension that was originally scheduled to take off on October 2. The aircraft of the GPS satellite (the satellite also received two Merlin swaps), NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager. According to Spaceflight Now, the GPS launch will be carried out from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida, and the current target is no earlier than November 4.
Stich said the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule will transport four Crew-1 astronauts-NASA’s Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi to the space station for a six-month stay. This work Progressing well.
If everything goes according to plan, NASA and SpaceX will conduct a flight readiness review of Crew-1 on Friday (October 30), and start loading the propellant into Crew Dragon this weekend, and its crew will name it For “resilience,” Stich said.
Stich added that the four astronauts are currently undergoing “soft quarantine” in their homes and will enter a stricter quarantine before Halloween. If everything goes according to plan, the Quartet will head to NASA’s Crew-1 launch site at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 6.
Crew-1 will be SpaceX’s second astronaut flight to NASA’s International Space Station. On May 30, Elon Musk’s company launched Demo-2, which took NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the space station for two months. Stich said that the review of Demo-2 data has been completed, clearing the way for Crew-1.
SpaceX signed a $2.6 billion contract with NASA to perform at least six missions, the first of which is Crew-1 to and from the crew. Boeing has also signed a similar deal worth $4.2 billion, which will be implemented using a space capsule called the CST-100 Starliner. However, Starliner is not yet ready to carry astronauts. After failing to meet the Orbital Laboratory as planned in its first attempt in December 2019, the capsule must still fly the drone to the station again.
Mike Wall (Mike Wall) is “outside“(Grand Central Press, 2018; Karl Tate illustration), this is a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .