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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight 113

Posted by timothy
from the fly-up-go-boom dept.
SpaceMika (867804) writes "A SpaceX test flight at the McGregor test facility ended explosively on Friday afternoon. A test flight of a three-engine Falcon 9 Dev1 reusable rocket ended in a rapid unscheduled disassembly after an unspecified anomaly triggered the Flight Termination System, destroying the rocket. No injuries were reported." Update: 08/23 13:33 GMT by T : Space.com has video.
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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

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  • So it works then? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @07:31AM (#47735757)

    Good on them for making the self-destruct such a high priority!

  • by robbak (775424) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @08:28AM (#47735977) Homepage

    That's pretty much it. The on-board computers detected that the rockets attitude or location was out of limits, so it triggered some explosive detcord fixed against the fuel and lox tanks, tearing them open, so that the rocket safely disintegrates.

    I notice from the video that the destruction is done in a way that doesn't mix the LOX and fuel together - you can see the Cold Lox falling away and the ignited cloud of burning RP1 floating higher. Really nice bit of design I hadn't thought of.

  • Re:Exactly! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:35AM (#47736291) Journal
    Specifically, the space shuttle didn't have a launch escape system. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Vostok, Shenzhou and Soyuz all do/did, though Vostok and Gemini used ejection seats for the purpose instead of taking the whole capsule. The shuttle test flights had ejection seats, but those were removed when normal operations started. After Challenger a method to escape the shuttle was added: get into a controlled glide, get to the rear hatch, jump out, and parachute to safety...
  • Re:Exactly! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:37AM (#47736303)
    Nice pun asshole. Challenger had no ejection system. NASA considered in infeasible to provide ejection capability for 7 people. The commander and pilot could have had an ejection seat system, but the idea of having two crew members escape while the other 5 are left to die was (rightly) unpalatable.

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