In the spring of this year, an "anomaly" occurred in the tests of the SpaceX Dragon engines – as the company called them. It's not clear how the leaked video of the incident captured the countdown and then the SuperDraco and boom motors exploded. So far it was not known why one of the most advanced capsules became smoke clouds.
SpaceX has been around for a long time, but on July 15, the official details of the incident with Crew Dragon were released. According to experts, there is a valve in the pressure system of tanks, which is responsible for the passage of helium in the direction of the fuel tanks. It usually works like a clock, but at that point it did not start to work properly: The valve allowed a "backward" stroke, allowing the fuel to enter the tank with helium.
See also – An accident occurred while testing the emergency engines of the ship's crew Dragon
Why Crew Dragon exploded
Already the penetration of fuel into the cargo tank with helium can not lead to an explosion. But after the engine started, the pressure rose – helium flowed to the valve as it should, but it was prevented by fuel, which should not be there. One of the valve components reacted with titanium, causing a fire and a subsequent explosion.
To avoid a repetition of this situation, SpaceX has promised to completely remove the check valves from the capsule. Instead, bursting membranes are installed. You can not miss the fuel in the pressure system because they are in a closed state up to a certain gas pressure.
It is good that the capsule did not explode when it was started with humans – for this SpaceX and performs similar tests. The company had big plans for Crew Dragon, because it was he who docked with the ISS in March this year and then successfully splashed it on the ground.
Also read – Crew Dragon has successfully hosed down after uncoupling from the ISS
Crew Dragon is eight meters long and can accommodate seven astronauts. The Crew Module, like its rocket, is reusable – an important part of the SpaceX business model designed to save reusable usage. An unforeseen explosion is hardly part of economic policy.
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