Falcon 9 rocket explosion traced to upper stage helium system

September 23, 2016 11:30 PM

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The investigation into a dramatic Falcon 9 rocket explosion earlier this month at Cape Canaveral has determined a “large breach” in the launcher’s upper stage helium pressurization system led to the destruction of the booster and its $200 million satellite payload, SpaceX said Friday.

Officials said returning to flight “safely and reliably” with the Falcon 9 rocket, a critical vehicle for NASA’s commercial crew and cargo program for the International Space Station, is SpaceX’s top priority.

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