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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX cargo flight overcomes engine mishap

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SpaceX cargo flight overcomes engine mishap

One of the Falcon 9 rocket's nine Merlin first stage engines suddenly lost pressure and shut down during Sunday's launch of a commercial resupply craft to the International Space Station, but the engine did not explode and the launcher successfully placed its Dragon payload in the correct orbit, SpaceX said in a statement Monday.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 8:35 p.m. EDT Sunday (0035 GMT Monday) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and reached orbit about 10 minutes later, deploying the privately-built Dragon spacecraft to begin a 59-hour chase of the space station.

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Posted (edited)

Looks like they had luck on their side. Sudden loss of pressure sounds like a rupture in the combustion chamber. It looks in the video like there was a "blowout" sufficient for debris to be produced. As they said later part of the faring came away. The rupture and blowout must have happened in an area free of pressurized fuel or oxygen lines. Breaching those on any of the engines could be disastrous.

The sudden silence on the video says a lot.

The abort command would have had a twitchy finger over the destruct switch for several seconds following.

High stress work environment for sure!

Edited by synchronomy

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Here's an update.

Regardless of the engine problems during launch, the Dragon docked with the ISS this morning.

It's the second time in only a year that Space X has pulled off this success!

http://www.spacex.com/updates.php

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Here's an update.

Regardless of the engine problems during launch, the Dragon docked with the ISS this morning.

It's the second time in only a year that Space X has pulled off this success!

http://www.spacex.com/updates.php

This can only be considered a partial success. As well as Dragon the Falcon 9 was carrying a commercial satellite. Due to the extended burn of the 2nd stage to put the Dragon in the correct orbit it was unable to place this satellite into its orbit. It has re-entered and is an insurance write-off.

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