Tesla Motors Inc CEO Blames Shoddy Part For SpaceX Rocket Explosion

Tesla stockBlomst / Pixabay

Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk believes he knows the reason for the recent explosion in one of SpaceX’s rockets. According to Musk, a two-foot long metal bar could be the reason for strut failure.

Tesla CEO blames supplier?

The strut was used to hold a helium tank in the rocket, but when it failed, the tank blasted around the compartment resulting into gas leakage, which turned into an explosive drop in the oxygen pressure.

“This was a purchased part,” Musk said in a press conference on Monday. “We just install it at SpaceX.”

According to Musk, the strut is a very small part of the spaceship, and was manufactured by another company, and SpaceX did not put it through test before launch. Tesla CEO said the part received authorization from a third-party that it would stand the stress of a rocket liftoff. Musk did not mention the name of the company that made strut nor revealed the company that certified it. However, he said SpaceX will give the contract to another supplier, and will do independent  testing from now.

Musk said he follows the practice of sending email across the company asking employees if they have any reason to delay the flight, even if their manager do not approve. “The 20th time I send that email, it just seems like its Elon being paranoid again,” Tesla CEO said.

A lesson learned, but the hard way

SpaceX has not launched any other mission after the recent crash, which resulted in a loss worth millions of dollars in revenue, according to Musk. Further,pre, Musk is not expecting any flights before the fall. The SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO said the firm had become complacent over the past seven years, but the crash on June 28 taught them a really important lesson.

SpaceX manufactures all the major components for Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket itself. In the past four years, SpaceX has made 18 successful trips to ISS under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA. The spaceship made by the SpaceX was the first ever commercial vehicle to travel to the space station.

The recent failed unmanned flight was carrying two tons of research equipment, provision for the ISS crew and hardware for the space station, and everything was destroyed in the explosion. SpaceX, which was started in 2002, will continue to pursue a contract renewal with NASA, according to Musk. NASA has already invested more than $80 billion in SpaceX.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com

8 Comments on "Tesla Motors Inc CEO Blames Shoddy Part For SpaceX Rocket Explosion"

  1. It would be nice to acknowledge that this was a failure of the management of SpaceX and the buck stops at Musk’s front door. Maybe the million bucks stop there, lol, but he put management in place without a method of testing every single part to 90% of failure rated stress like other military flights are expected to do. The testing equipment should be traceable to NIST standards and the technicians certified to make sure every single point of failure item is either fail safe, or blue ribbon tested before it is mounted in a rocket. There is a reason they call it rocket science. Trust nobody, verify every possible detail. Manage your staff and don’t buy struts from Wal-Mart.

  2. He’s an analyst, you expect actual work? Fact checking?

    I’m sure he can tell us all about the synergy he’s leveraged while shifting paradigms.

  3. Horribly written article. Please try to do better in the future, Aman. Your facts are wrong and the quotes are wrong.

  4. geoffrey bailey | Jul 21, 2015, 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm |

    I think I’d rather go to the Tesla Motors, er I meant SpaceX website for a more accurate story.

  5. Everyone knows clinton wears panties on his head. Kind of a strange analogy though!

    Musk is CEO of SpaceX, so in a SpaceX story, why wouldn’t you refer to him in THAT role, instead of his role at Tesla?
    Again, I know the answer is that the writer is trying to get more keywords in his headline to get more clicks… I’m just calling him on it.

  6. Errors:
    – SpaceX has not made 18 trips to the ISS. The failed launch was CRS-7…
    – SpaceX has received nowhere near $80b from NASA. NASA’s entire 2014 budget was $17b…

  7. For the same reason when you are discussing a house party, you mention President Clinton had panties on his head, and not ‘ at Julie’s party one of the guests had panties on his head’

  8. Why do you refer to Musk as “Tesla CEO” in the context of a Spacex story? Either you don’t realize he’s also the CEO of Spacex, or it seems you have an agenda to associate Tesla with this story. Seems to be cheesy headline click-bait sensationalism.

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