In the SpaceX and stuff department, here is some of what they are currently up to. This is rather ambitious. http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/o...transport-system-beginning-mars-colonization/ The Raptor is a very impressive piece of "rocket science" http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/o...amonds-rockets-best-friend-raptor-sneak-peek/ We might be getting closer to some answers regarding the latest "anomaly"... http://spaceflight101.com/spacex-resorts-to-creative-testing-in-falcon-9-explosion-investigation/ Potential causes of the COPV failure could include weakening of the structural integrity of the COPV due to the thermal difference between the metal liner on the inside subjected to the warm helium and the carbon fiber overwrap material on the outside in contact with the cold oxidizer. Acoustic phenomena resulting from the high-pressure helium being forced into the tank at a critical time during the LOX loading sequence are also on the table as possible scenarios that may have transpired. The previous iteration of the Falcon 9 used Liquid Oxygen at boiling point temperature and began loading its tanks over three hours ahead of launch - permitting the COPVs to be fully chilled prior to applying high pressures. Falcon 9 FT enters LOX load on the second stage with just 19.5 minutes on the countdown clock followed by Helium load just over 13 minutes prior to launch - an aggressive tanking sequence unprecedented in the space launch business. It is also understood that SpaceX was testing modifications to the countdown sequence on the Static Fire Test for the previous Falcon 9 mission with JCSat-16 to introduce window management capabilities for the FT version of Falcon 9 that initially had to launch very shortly after propellant loading finished in order to avoid the chilled propellants warming up inside the tanks. These modified countdown steps include adjustments to engine chilldown as well as the propellant and pressurant loading sequence. It is possible that, with these seemingly minor adjustments to the sequencing of events, SpaceX has inadvertently designed a chain of events that overstressed the Helium bottles. To gather data on the potential scenarios that can lead to a COPV failure, SpaceX has taken to its McGregor test site where, according to Shotwell, a lot of tests were being run on the COPVs. These tests, in all likelihood, are running different propellant and helium loading modes on highly instrumented tanks to learn about the critical chain of events in both loading sequences that overstress the COPVs. Observant SpaceX fans passing by McGregor noted experimentation involving LOX tankers and helium supplies was underway in an open area of the facility. Matching data from an instrumented, destructive test to the telemetry from the rocket gathered in the 93 milliseconds from the onset of the anomaly to loss of data can tell SpaceX whether their modified tanking sequence is indeed to blame for the unfortunate accident. Identifying an operational deficiency as the root cause beyond any reasonable doubt would be the best case scenario for SpaceX, allowing them to return to flight relatively quickly compared to a design flaw requiring re-work of all existing and future Falcon 9 stages. On the flip side, a purely ‘business-process’ related flaw can tell a lot about the ‘NewSpace’ culture ongoing at SpaceX - raising questions about other shortcuts taken to save money, cut processing time or increase launch-on-time probability and, as a result, taking hardware to or beyond design limits. Whether SpaceX can return Falcon 9 to flight before the end of the year depends on the speed of the investigation as well as the status of the company’s launch facilities. http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/o...otwell-something-rocket-going-find-going-fix/ Shotwell said that while all plausible possibilities have to be considered in order to uncover the real reason for the explosion she felt that "the more than likely - the overwhelmingly likely - explanation is that we did something to that rocket. And we’re going to find it and we’re going to fix it." Shotwell added that the possibility of the sabotage scenario being the correct one was "absolutely not high on my list of thoughts."