SpaceX paused its rocket launches as well as any and all tests after one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded on the launchpad before it was even able to depart for its mission. The company has been working hard to find out the cause of the explosion and while it’s not completely there yet, SpaceX says that the investigation has advanced enough to enable it to resume testing rockets once again.
SpaceX says that the inquiry into the explosion is now in an “advanced state” and that it’s going to resume stage testing in Texas in the “coming days.” The company is still hopeful that it will be able to resume Falcon 9 launches before the end of this year.
As far as the cause of the explosion is concerned, SpaceX believes it might be due to the composite overwrapped pressure vessels inside the liquid oxygen tank. The problem can be reproduced by pressure and temperature conditions experienced when loading helium. This is why the company will now be improving helium loading conditions to ensure that Falcon 9 rockets can be serviced “reliably” in the future.
It’s in SpaceX’s best interests to wrap up the investigation soon so that its customers can regain confidence that the company’s rockets will no longer explode and damage their payload in the process. Stage testing will be an important step following this investigation to calm customers that SpaceX has learned from the incident and has made the appropriate improvements.