Tags: NASA | Worried | SpaceX | Fueling Policy | Rockets | Explode

NASA Worried SpaceX's Fueling Policy Could Cause Future Rockets to Explode

NASA Worried SpaceX's Fueling Policy Could Cause Future Rockets to Explode

The Canadarm 2 reaches out to capture the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft for docking to the International Space Station on April 17, 2015. (AP Photo/NASA)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 November 2016 03:02 PM

NASA has announced that SpaceX's fueling policy could cause future rockets to explode, after one blew up in September, The Daily Caller reports.

The agency's Space Station Advisory Committee has suggested that the company review its policies due to serious concerns about its safety standards, but SpaceX appears to have rejected that.

NASA has also released a letter sent by committee chairman Thomas Stafford last year which expressed concern about SpaceX's plans to have astronauts get on its crewed Dragon spacecraft before fueling the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch it, Space News reported.

"There is a unanimous, and strong, feeling by the committee that scheduling the crew to be on board the Dragon spacecraft prior to loading oxidizer into the rocket is contrary to booster safety criteria that has been in place for over 50 years, both in this country and internationally," the letter stated. 

Stafford pointed out that it has been the policy on all previous NASA crewed missions to fuel the rocket when there are no personnel on the pad, writing , "Only after the booster is fully fueled and stabilized are the few essential people allowed near it."

SpaceX suspects that the explosion in September, which destroyed a $60 million SpaceX rocket and the $200 million Israeli Amos satellite, was caused by a problem with the rocket's helium loading system, but isn't sure of the root cause, The Daily Caller reports.

Industry experts suspect a fuel leak, unknown contaminants in the liquid oxygen propellant, or a problem with rocket staging.

SpaceX rockets have previously blown up several times during landing attempts.

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NASA has announced that SpaceX's fueling policy could cause future rockets to explode, after one blew up in September, The Daily Caller reports.
NASA, Worried, SpaceX, Fueling Policy, Rockets, Explode
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2016-02-08
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 03:02 PM
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