Falcon 9 explosion: SpaceX replicates fatal flaw, but root cause still unclear

Following a joint investigation with the Federal Aviation Association (FAA), NASA, and the US Air Force, the private space company SpaceX has finally zeroed in on the likely system flaw that caused one of its Falcon 9 rockets to explode on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., two months ago.

The explosion occurred while the fuel tanks were being prepped, leading SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and President Gwynne Shotwell to believe that the problem was with fueling process rather than a vehicle design or engineering flaw. On Friday, the company announced it had been able to replicate the failure of a helium tank, which is believed to be the cause of the explosion.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, it has not disrupted plans for SpaceX to return to flight by the end of the year. READ MORE.