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SpaceX blames launch failure on faulty strut
Posted: Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 9:34 AM ET (1334 GMT)
Falcon 9 CRS-7 launch failure (SpaceX) SpaceX said Monday that the failure last month of a Falcon 9 rocket on a cargo mission to the International Space Station was caused by a faulty strut in the rocket's second stage. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the strut, which holds a helium bottle in place in the second stage liquid oxygen tank, snapped at a fraction of its rated strength. That caused helium to leak into the tank, overpressurizing it and causing it to burst. Tests on the ground of thousands of similar struts, provided to SpaceX by an unnamed supplier, shows a handful that also broke well below their rated strength. The company said it is redesigning the strut, and may use a different supplier for it. Launches of the Falcon 9 will resume no earlier than September, pending the final outcome of the investigation and any other corrective actions.
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