Reply to post: Re: Physics Says...

KRAKKOOM! SpaceX Falcon supply mission to ISS EXPLODES minutes after launch

Jim E

Re: Physics Says...

Slight problem with the above analysis. Oxygen boils off the whole time and is vented. The only period when it isn't is then they close the vents for a short time a few minutes prior to launch. This pressurises the tank to give the rocket more rigidity. Like the tubes in an inflatable dinghy. But then the vents open again to prevent the pressure building up too much. These things are a bit more complex than a pressure-cooker safety valve. They have remote control, they have to work OK with ice in them, and they have to work in a supersonic airflow. The rocket is being warmed by the sun the whole time, which will cause some boil off. If they close for some reason, then Kablooey. Hopefully the guy who said it was all normal did not have all the information. I hope there were people at SpaceX staring at their screens and going "Ohhhh Crap" for a few seconds before it went bang. That would be good, because this is going to be a manned rocket soon. You want some warning of this type of event when there are people riding it, so that the escape system can do it's thing.

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