At a new NASA briefing, Hans Konigsman, SpaceX’s vice president of build and flight reliability, was able to explain in more detail why the recent launch of the last-second Falcon 9 was incomplete and the inauguration of the company’s first working astronaut. How it hurt to be late.
Now a landing is scheduled for Saturday, November 14, before EST (00:49 UTC) (NET), SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Crew-1 mission will begin in late September, October 23, and October 31. Was expected. . On October 2, however, a new Falcon 9 booster – the sister of Crew-1’s own new booster – automatically ended its attempt to launch its GPS III SV04 satellite two seconds before the lift. The rare last-second abortion was immediately blamed by CEO Alan Musk on a “sudden increase in pressure in a turbomachine gas generator.”
The possibility of a malfunctioning GPS III SV04 Falcon 9 Booster B1062 at SpaceX’s factory in Hawthorne, California, along with the Crew-1 Falcon 9 Booster B1061 was investigated almost immediately after the cause of the abortion was fully understood. Was.
A week before the latest briefing, Kathy Lloyders, NASA’s manned spaceflight program manager and former commercial crew program manager, revealed in a statement on Twitter that SpaceX was still analyzing the cause of the abortion but had already determined it. Has at least one Crew-1 booster engine. Will need to be replaced, as well as an engine on the Falcon 9 Booster B1063.
Now, during NASA’s Crew-1 briefing on October 28, SpaceX’s Konigsman revealed that the company has finally decided to replace the Crew-1 booster B1061 with two of the nine Merlin 1D engines. Thanks to the Falcon 9’s nine-engine booster design and SpaceX’s excellent rocket factory, that process was abruptly completed, requiring the direction of qualified Merlin 1D engines before a fairly large tank. Based on Konigsman’s focus, SpaceX has already installed both replacement engines on the Crew-1 booster.
What, however, is the cause of the launch abortion of GPS III SV04 and how did it affect Crew-1?
Rocket Engine vs. “Nail Polish”
According to Konigsman, during the fast and sophisticated mechanical and electrical ballet before the Falcon 9 first stage fire, the rocket’s autonomous flight computer noticed that the GPS III SV04 booster’s nine Marlin 1D engines appeared to be running ahead of schedule. To speak for. The computer immediately stopped the ignition process to avoid a “hard” (ie stressful or harmful) start. SpaceX quickly began inspecting the rocket within 24 hours but was unable to detect anything physically or electrically incorrect with the Falcon 9’s Merlin 1D engines and engine parts.
Despite great caution, SpaceX removed both malfunctioning engines and shipped them to its McGregor, Texas development and testing facility where – somewhat miraculously – to test the initial behavior before the same time. Was repeated on the stand. After too much growing granular inspection, SpaceX finally fed a small plumbing line to the engine’s gas generator relief valve, possibly due. In the random ups and downs of relatively new Merlin 1D engines, SpaceX finally discovered that the relief valve line provided by a supplier is sometimes filled by a protective Lake Koenigsman compared to “red nail polish”. .
During the process of finishing the surface known as anodization, the engine tinging parts were used for selective extrusion, the lacquer was either easily removed at random selection of engine parts or Was suddenly turned into an obstacle by over-enthusiastic cleaning. After all, whatever the reason, the miniscule interruption was enough to make the affected Merlin 1D engines constantly try to ignite a small fraction of a second.
Critically, when SpaceX explored the probable cause and pulled out the blocked plumbing, each of the previously affected Merlin 1D engines performed well, but not directly due to the Falcon 9’s second abortion in October and Treatment confirms both.
Astronauts enter separately
In anticipation of Special X with the vague ly of the gas generator problem, NASA’s commercial crew program manager Steve Stitch revealed that astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission – Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins, and Jaxa (Japanese) Astronaut Sochi Noguchi – began routine prelaunch quarantine procedures in anticipation of the launch on November 14.
Stitch also offered another special Crew-1 schedule, starting with an integrated Falcon 9 and Cree. The Dragon Static Fire Test will be a full dry dress rehearsal on November 9 and November 14 before the first launch attempt. Specifically, thanks to Combined Rabbit Mobility, a successful launch on November 14 will enable Dragon to increase its value and present itself to the International Space Station eight to eight hours after the lift off – 5 to 27.5 hours above normal. Three times faster than .
Be prepared for updates as the mission start date approaches.