SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on 'Falcon 9' Explosion: Sabotage Is a Real Threat, Every Scenarios Are Being Considered

First Posted: Oct 19, 2016 06:40 AM EDT

Statements from SpaceX founder Elon Musk are suggesting that the CEO is still greatly concerned about the vulnerability of the Falcon 9 rocket operations to attacks by a handful of his program's rivals in the industry. Even though such situation is unlikely that there was "someone" behind the September 1 explosion during the preparations of a static fire test.

Musk stated that "a leading theory" that caused the September 1 failure was the accumulation of solid oxygen into the helium reservoir that is submerged in a liquid oxygen tank on the Falcon 9's second testing stage. The said reservoir he was referring to was the COPV or carbon composite overwrapped pressure vessel. These statements was leaked just hours after the SpaceX CEO presentation to the U.S National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on October 13.

But on October 14 a Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX spokesman declined to ratify those statements that were anonymously published online. Those statements do not entirely conform exactly to what Elon Musk said. "We are not commenting on private conversations Elon has had," according to a statement by the spokesman. "We are continuously making progress regarding the investigation and we are focused on reliably and safely returning to flight as soon as possible."

Another possibility the team is looking at is if someone could have blown the SpaceX rocket from the launchpad. The spokesperson said that they could exactly replicate what had happened during the launch and easily find out if someone tried to sabotage the program. The SpaceX team does not take the idea lightly and quickly came up with a long list of adversaries that could be behind the said explosion. The idea has been set aside for now but the SpaceX team will recognize it as a real possibility in the future.

Following the company's debate over the Falcon 9 explosion, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell deliberately defended the company's right to consider every possible scenario while the investigation is still on going. But the SpaceX president had also downplayed the notion that someone would intentionally blow up the Falcon 9.

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