The following is an excerpt from Shubham Sharma | ibtimes.com | May 6, 2018 |
When it comes to spacefaring, Elon Musk’s SpaceX needs no introduction. The company has done wonders in the commercial spaceflight segment while executing satellite launches and mastering the art of reusability for cost efficiency. The road leads to Mars colonization, something the company hopes to achieve with BFR, a powerful, 348-foot-long spaceship designed to ferry people and cargo between Earth and Mars.
As the work for BFR progresses, a group of safety experts has underscored some concerns that might come up with the company’s powerful rocket technology. According to a report in the Washington Post, in order to make its Falcon 9 rockets more powerful, SpaceX keeps its propellant super cool.
The practice shrinks the propellant physically and makes room for adding more fuel into the tank and increasing the vehicle’s power. However, as the experts point out, the task comes with a major caveat, one that could put lives at risk. Essentially, in order to maintain such extreme levels of temperature, the tank has to be filled right at the last moment, which, if the mission is crewed, would mean the spacefarers are already onboard. In such a situation, a slight mistake or spark during the loading procedure could set a catastrophic explosion.
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