Space experts critical of SpaceX's effort to make Falcon 9 more powerful
08 May 2018
American space safety experts have warned off the possibility of an explosion on spacecraft with astronauts on board if the SpaceX team gets away with its plan to make the Falcon 9 rocket more powerful.
SpaceX, which was founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is also the product architect of Tesla, decided to the keep the propellants on the rocket at super-cold temperatures to shrink its size and allow more tanks.
But NASA safety advisers have described the move as “potential safety risk,” and members of the US Congress have also raised alarms.
According to The Washington Post, a NASA advisory group warned that the method was “contrary to booster safety criteria that has been in place for over 50 years.”
SpaceX of course has a bad reputation as one of its Falcon 9 rocket blew up in September 2016 when it was being fuelled before an engine test. While no one was injured, the multimillion-dollar satellite was destroyed.
With the US government encouraging private players to enter the space sector, NASA is also looking at companies including SpaceX and Boeing – both of who have been awarded total contracts adding up to nearly $7 billion – to take up projects including flying astronauts to the space station.