<img src = "https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–SdC_1bt5–/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/c4qtgcpb9eiqfbgpvtxi.jpg" class = "lazyload ls-lazy-image-tag" data-sizes = "auto" data-srcset = "https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–SdC_1bt5–/ c_scale, f_auto, fl_progressive, q_80, w_800 / c4qtgcpb9eiqfbgpvtxi.jpg 2x, https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–SdC_1bt5–/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80, w_800 / c4qtgcpb9eiqfbgpvtxi.jpg 3x "data-width =" 899 "data-chomp-id =" c4qtgcpb9eiqfbgpvtxi "data-format =" jpg "alt =" SpaceX Crew Cosmic Capsule Tested in 2015 blame defective valve for anomaly that allows fuel leakage to come in contact with titanium SpaceX officials say they've already found but it is still unclear when the company will be able to resume flight tests The incident happened on April 20, 2019 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force in Florida as SpaceX conducted static fire tests on the crew's capsule. The crew dragon used in the test is the same as that used for Demo-1 mission, where an untreated capsule was seen visiting the International Space Station in March. SpaceX, in collaboration with NASA, is currently working on a flight disruption test in flight and the much anticipated Demo-2 mission, which will include a crew of two NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behank. NASA, with the help of private partners, seeks to restore the ability of the United States to send astronauts into space, which it has not been able to do alone after the 2011 Space Shuttle program has been withdrawn.
On the day of the incident, SpaceX has succeeded to perform successful tests on Draco's smaller maneuvering pushers. Then the attention moved to the eight SuperDraco pushers used in the abortion system that things went wrong. Just an instant before the SuperDracos ignite, an anomaly causes an explosion, causing the capsule to break. Fortunately no one was injured.
After the incident, SpaceX launched an investigation involving NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB). The investigation is still ongoing, but in a SpaceX release released yesterday, the anomaly is due to a defective valve.
The problem happened about 100 milliseconds before the launch of the eight SuperDraco engines and while the drive systems were under pressure. Accident investigators said they had found evidence of a leak component that allowed NTO – a liquid oxidant – to enter into high pressure helium pipes before ignition. at high speed during a quick initialization of the launch system, resulting in structural damage to the valve, "SpaceX said in his press release. "The failure of a titanium component in a high-pressure NTO environment is enough to ignite the return valve and lead to an explosion."
Speaking to reporters yesterday, as SpaceNews reports, Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of spacex buildings and flight credibility, described this problem:
SpaceX said the reaction between titanium and high pressure nitrous oxide was not expected. "When [push] entered [of NTO] the return valve, Konigsmann said that this scenario was demonstrated in the next tests, adding that" when the pressure is very high, the temperature is high, and you drive with lots of energy in a titanium component, you can do it.
SpaceX now reconfigurates the system to prevent re-leakage. Fortunately, the drug will not require a major overhaul of the CrewDragon concept. In general, SpaceX engineers must remove the flow path in the launch system so that the liquid fuel can not leak into the gas pressure system. To do this, they will replace one-way control valves with a device known as a bursting disk, also known as a disruptive disk. These disposable devices are designed to create a complete seal as they are opened by high pressure. SpaceX said the exploding disks would "mitigate the risk entirely," said Kenigsman: "I feel this is actually the better component [for the escape system]". The program pointed to the incident as "a huge gift". In fact, we'd better find the problem now than on a crew mission. Needless to say, that's why static tests are being conducted.
Konigsmann said the investigation was already 80% completed, but the crew's Dragon's changes and testing are already in progress. The necessary changes, he said, may occur in parallel with other planned work on the system. SpaceX and NASA officials are reluctant to provide time for the flight disruption test and Demo-2 mission, but Coenigsman admits it's getting harder to stay on schedule to see the crew's mission happen later this year.
"We will fly when we feel that the certification work has been done to safely fly our crews," added Leeds. "I hope it's this year, but we'll fly when it's time and when we know we'll fly safely from our crew."