SpaceX finds cause of explosion that destroyed Israeli satellite

The Amos-6, Israel’s largest ever satellite, and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on which it was perched go up in flames after the rocket exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida on September 1, 2016. (YouTube screen capture)

[Editor’s note: Back in September, when the Space-X rocket blew up on the pad in Florida, taking the Israeli satellite it was carrying with it, VT was immediately on the ball in reporting what had actually happened, thanks to the expertise we can call on. VT’s Jeff Smith correctly identified the explosion as a nuclear one, not least because of the plainly visible plasma ball.

A little research into the rocket design and it became clear that the helium contained in the rocket had exploded due to the Hohlraum effect that takes place when a container of helium, hydrogen or similar gas undergoes bombardment by radiation, in that case, most likely high intensity x-rays from a new x-ray laser just reaching deployment after having begun development in the 1980s as part of the infamous SDI ‘Star Wars’ programme.

Space-X have now completed their investigation and have revealed that it was indeed the helium tanks that went boom, providing confirmation that VT had been correct in it’s evaluation of the incident. As Jeff commented:

Well it was a helium tank rupture that did it so we were correct on that one; but liquid oxygen and helium don’t burn or turn into hot plasma by themselves. So they left out the ignition source data in the report. Interesting we got a 75% correct conformation.



Times of Israel

SpaceX finds cause of explosion that destroyed Israeli satellite

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company announced Monday that it had found the cause of a September launch pad explosion that destroyed a $300 million Israeli communications satellite.

The company’s Falcon rockets have been grounded since the September 1 explosion. SpaceX said in a statement that it expects to return to flight on January 8.

The statement posted on the SpaceX website on said the explosion was caused by the failure of one of three helium tanks, known as composite overwrapped pressure vessels or COPVs, inside the liquid oxygen tank in the rocket’s second stage. The loose liquid oxygen triggered a fuel explosion.

The investigation was overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration, the US Air Force, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was in the midst of a routine fueling test for its scheduled launch when it exploded. The explosion was felt throughout NASA’s Cape Canaveral, Florida facility and for several miles around.

The rocket was scheduled to hoist into orbit the Amos 6 satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and owned by Spacecom Ltd. in partnership with Eutelsat Communications of France.

It was expected to operate for 16 years in part on behalf of Facebook and bring Internet connectivity to sub-Saharan Africa and television service to providers in Europe and the Middle East. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the project in June 2015.


Author Details
Ian Greenhalgh is a photographer and historian with a particular interest in military history and the real causes of conflicts.

His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.

His favored areas of study include state-sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.
Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy

Comments are closed.