SpaceX aims to launch again this year following September’s rocket explosion

SpaceX wins $440 million grant to design NASA spaceship
SpaceX suffered a serious setback at the start of September when one of its Falcon 9 rockets suddenly exploded on a Cape Canaveral launchpad, taking with it an Israeli communications satellite.

Since then the team has been working with industry experts from the likes of NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Air Force to try to determine the cause of the incident.

Elon Musk’s space company revealed on Friday that it’s close to understanding exactly what went wrong, adding that it hopes to resume missions before the end of the year.

Getting its operation up and running again in less than four months would be a major boost for SpaceX. Following the loss of a Falcon 9 booster in 2015 just minutes after launch, missions were put on hold for a full six months, while this latest incident had some speculating its space project could be grounded for up to a year.

As for the cause of September’s explosion, SpaceX had said it suspected a breach in the rocket’s helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank.

In an update posted on its website, the California-based company said that while the root cause of the breach has yet to be confirmed, “attention has continued to narrow to one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the LOX tank.”

It added that following extensive testing, it’s been able to “re-create a COPV failure entirely through helium loading conditions. These conditions are mainly affected by the temperature and pressure of the helium being loaded.”

SpaceX said that at the moment its two main objectives are to pinpoint “the exact root cause” of the incident and to develop “improved helium loading conditions that allow SpaceX to reliably load Falcon 9.”

Finally, it confirmed that “pending the results of the investigation, we continue to work towards returning to flight before the end of the year.”

SpaceX’s latest report aims to reassure partners considering whether to use the company for launching its payloads, after all, none will want to see their satellite suffer the same fate as Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite at the start of September.

The update is also SpaceX’s way of telling the world that it’s as determined as ever to push ahead with its goal of launching manned missions to the International Space Station, as well as its altogether bolder ambition of one day reaching Mars.

Emerging Tech

SpaceX Starlink: Here’s everything you need to know

SpaceX Starlink is the name of Elon Musk's ambitious plan to blanket the globe with high speed broadband internet via a network of satellites. Here's everything you need to know about it

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

MoviePass saga: Parent company investigated for allegedly misleading investors

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Emerging Tech

A Fitbit for your cat shit: Automatic litter box tracks your kitty’s health

It may look like a sci-fi teleportation chamber, but Footloose is a high-tech litter box that promises to be the most cutting-edge way for your kitty to take a dump. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

This 3D-printed house made of earth and rice husks costs less than an iPhone

Italian 3D-printing company WASP has just demonstrated the 3D printing of a hut structure using a combination of 3D-printed concrete and a mud-based material. All for around $1,000.
Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Emerging Tech

Scientists want to bore holes through clouds using lasers from satellites

Researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland have proposed a plan to use ultra-hot and ultra-short laser beams to punch through cloud layers and transmit information from satellites to Earth.
Emerging Tech

Behind the unsettling sci-fi landscapes of Simon Stalenhag’s ‘Electric State’

The narrative artbook follows the journey of a young traveler, Michelle, and her robot, Skip, as they head west to the Pacific coast through an alternative America torn apart by civil war and the trappings of military-grade virtual reality.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.
Emerging Tech

Get one of the best cheap drones you can buy, and cry less when you crash

Want to get in on all this hot drone action, but don't want to spend half a paycheck to make it happen? There are actually lots of feature-packed budget options. Check out this list of the best drones under $500.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Product Review

Parrot Anafi drone review

It’s definitely not perfect, and there are a few little things that could be improved, but even so, Anafi is unquestionably the best drone that Parrot has ever made.