Re: Possible Falcon 9 explosion

From: Brian Weeden (
Date: Mon Sep 30 2013 - 23:15:59 UTC

  • Next message: Phillip Clark: "Re: Possible Falcon 9 explosion"

    If STRATCOM has catalogued the pieces, that means they have multiple tracks from multiple sites (or at least the same site multiple times) and good enough data to maintain orbits on the separate pieces. So something is there.
    The excess number of pieces may be due to debris from the various payload deployments and separations and not an "explosion" specifically. But even if that's the case, it's still a sloppy way to do business.
    Thankfully, the pieces are low enough in altitude that they won't be in orbit very long.
    On Sep 30, 2013, at 19:03, Jonathan McDowell <> wrote:
    > Greg - My understanding is that SpX don't think they had an explosion.
    > That doesn't mean they didn't get some small pieces
    > flying off the vehicle. I agree we'll have to wait for more data and
    > see what comes to light.
    > My rough calculation is that the excess objects may have separated
    > around 1640 UTC, while the venting that you saw
    > (which I suspect was not a second burn, but a post abort propellant
    > dump) was around 1700 UTC I believe?
    > On 30 September 2013 18:23, Greg Roberts <> wrote:
    >> Hi Jonathan ( and other readers)
    >> Evening - actually my morning now as past local midnight.   Ive just been
    >> discussing on the  South African FACEBOOK pages (prior to just having now
    >> read the SeeSat items about a possible 2nd stage exolosion) that have
    >> covered the event - my page and that of the RSG group - about what appears
    >> to be multiple objects in severalof the numerous photographs taken here in
    >> South Africa of the event. In view of the comment by Elon Musk that an
    >> attempt was made to restart the second stage engine  but the burn was
    >> aborted "due to an anomaly"  the question now arises was the "anomaly" an
    >> actual explosion of the second stage engine/rocket ?  This might also
    >> explain the 20 odd pieces so far confirmed by SPACETRACK.  Having not seen
    >> the event myself I have to rely on other peoples images/reports. The
    >> satellite/satellites went into earths shadow soon after the "halo" so not
    >> enough time to get any seperation. But it was only in shadow for a
    >> relatively short time -- did observers north of the equator observe multiple
    >> objects close together. From what I understand the six satellites launched
    >> are relatively small so not that bright...... of course this is mostly
    >> guessing by me so we will have to see what becomes public knowledge - if
    >> ever.
    >> Cheers
    >> Greg
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