Speaking at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Boston on Tuesday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said engineers are still trying to determine why a Falcon 9 rocket broke up in flight on June 28.
“Obviously, this is a huge blow to SpaceX, and we take these missions incredibly seriously,” Musk said in a question and answer session Tuesday at an International Space Station conference in Boston. “Everyone that can engage in the investigation at SpaceX is very, very focused on that. In this case, the data does seem to be quite difficult to interpret. Whatever happened is clearly not a simple, straightforward thing, so we want to spend as much time as possible just reviewing the data.”
He said engineers will “look at both what we think most likely happened, and then anything that’s a close call, and then try to address all of those things and maximize the probability of success on future missions.”
“At this point, the only thing that’s really clear was there was some kind of over-pressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank, but the exact cause and sequence of events, there’s still no clear theory that fits with all the data,” Musk said. “So we have to determine if some of the data is a measurement error of some kind, or if there’s actually a theory that matches what appear to be conflicting data points.”
Musk said he hopes to have preliminary results of the investigation by the end of the week.