That SpaceX Rocket Was WAY Too Powerful For The Launchpad — Check Out The Damage!

Chunks of concrete were sent flying -- some landing a quarter mile away

Last week, the world witnessed the largest rocket ever made soar into the sky, successfully completing the first stage of its launch while experiencing a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’ during the separation phase.

Observers noted that several of the rocket’s 33 massive engines did not appear to be lit as it climbed into the sky. Now that we see how it tore up the launch pad, we have at least one plausible explanation for why they weren’t working.

The enormous cloud of debris, dirt, and concrete that was kicked up could have damaged several of them.

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Despite the mid-air explosion (initiated by way of a self-destruct mechanism), the test was considered largely successful.

Engineers had anticipated the force of the rocket to exceed the ability of the pad to withstand it. A ‘fix’ involving a large water-cooled steel plate had been engineered to work alongside the site, but it wasn’t ready in time for the launch.

Rebuilding the pad could take several months and is likely to include features this one lacked, including a flame trench and a plan to dampen the shock waves generated by the force of the engines.

“The reason they’re achieving these incredible capabilities,” the MIT professor continued, “is because they are willing to take risks and break things.
“But they learn from it, and improve very, very quickly.” — Phys (dot) Org

Sources Cited:
Phys (dot) Org

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One Comment

  1. water tanks adjacent to the launch pad are pretty common at the Cape…pretty obvious not all the engines were firing…multiple engines ultimately led to the failure of the Soviet moon rocket…we had five..they had sixteen…it makes for a much more complex mechanism with more chances something will fail…

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