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Elon Musk to Inspect SpaceX Facilities: What it Means

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Following SpaceX’s series of unfortunate events, Elon Musk is now re-shifting his priorities for the short term.

The SpaceX Founder and CEO will head to Florida this week and inspect SpaceX’s launch pads there. Musk has been focusing his energy lately on the development of the company’s latest Starship prototype, the SN8. 

Starship’s latest iteration has been spotted in SpaceX’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, fitted with body flaps. The SN8 has also been rolled into the launch pad and is set to undergo its first test campaign soon.

Throughout the previous month, Musk was mostly busy with Tesla. The entrepreneur unveiled new products on September 22 during Battery Day: the 4680 Battery Cell, and the Model S Plaid. The company also secured a deal with Piedmont Lithium Limited. The Australian mining company will supply Tesla with approximately 264,800 tonnes of lithium over the next five years.

SpaceX Last Week: Scrubbings All Around

On Monday September 28, SpaceX aborted the Starlink-12 mission due to poor weather conditions. 

It was aborted yet again on Thursday October 1 due to a faulty ground-sensor reading. The reading triggered an automatic abort of Starlink-12 18 seconds before liftoff. Elon Musk later revealed on Twitter that it was due to “an unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator”. The turbomachinery pressurizes gas entering the “gas generator”, which is a small engine that powers the Merlin rocket engine. The Merlin engine is a propellant that powers the Falcon 9 booster.

October 2, SpaceX was forced to scrub its GPS III SV-04 mission 2 seconds before liftoff. The company did not yet specify the reasons behind that cancellation.

SpaceX Scrubbing the GPS III SV-04 mission 2 seconds before liftoff/ Image Source: SpaceX

The mission cancellation merry-go-round continued through October 5. SpaceX yet again scrubbed Starlink-12 due to adverse weather conditions. The mission was scheduled for liftoff at 7:51 am Eastern time.  

Elon Musk’s Visit: What’s Next?

The SpaceX Founder and CEO is obviously displeased with the company’s recent developments. Musk tweeted that he would like SpaceX to increase its quota of launches in 2021 to forty-eight overall. 

Musk also confirmed on Twitter that the recent launch failures are not only due to unfavorable weather conditions. “We’re doing a broad review of launch site, propulsion, structures, avionics, range & regulatory constraints this weekend. I will also be at the Cape next week to review hardware in person”, Musk tweeted.

Elon Musk is a very ambitious person, and demanding as a business executive. He serves both as the CEO and the Chief Engineer of SpaceX. Musk has the final say in all senior technical meetings. 

While Musk surrounds himself with an intelligent, capable personnel, he is the driving force behind SpaceX’s progress. His personal inspection of SpaceX’s Florida launch sites will serve as a reminder of his expectations to SpaceX’s employees.  

Musk’s visit will undoubtedly galvanize them and prompt them to perform better.

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