On Saturday, SpaceX successfully launched 10 satellites into orbit on one of its Falcon 9 rockets. The company initially planned to launch the rocket on January 8, but that was moved to January 14 due to turbulent weather.
The Falcon 9 is a family of two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicles designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The interstage, which connects the upper and lower stages for Falcon 9, is a composite structure with an aluminum honeycomb core and carbon fiber face sheets.
In January last year, SpaceX made history by successfully recovering the first stage of the Falcon 9, marking the first time a rocket launched a payload into orbit and then returned safely to Earth. However, in September, during a routine preflight readiness test, an explosion occurred.
Officials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. Air Force (USAF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), along with several industry experts, collaborated with SpaceX on an investigation. They determined the explosion was caused by cold oxygen reacting with the carbon fiber composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV).
According to SpaceX, the loading temperature of the helium was cold enough to form a solid, which could cause the oxygen to get trapped in the tank. SpaceX has said that in order to combat the problem, it would reconfigure the COPVs so warmer helium could be loaded.
See the video below to watch the full launch: