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商业 - 科技

美国监管部门发现重要部件问题,SpaceX火箭又悬了

Geoffrey Smith 2017年02月08日

特斯拉首席执行官伊隆·马斯科领导的SpaceX可能已重启商业火箭发射计划,但美国国会的调查员对该司的安全标准并不满意。

《华尔街日报》上周四援引美国官员消息称,在对去年SpaceX猎鹰9号火箭发射事故的调查中,美国政府责任署(GAO)发现“关键推进部件始终存在裂缝”。裂缝主要影响将燃料泵入火箭发动机的涡轮叶片。该报告称,以上是初步发现,详细的GAO调查报告未来几周内发布。

《华尔街日报》还说,美国国家航空航天局(NASA)警告SpaceX,所谓涡轮泵产品中出现裂纹是“不可接受的”风险。该报援引NASA副局长罗伯特·莱特福特讲话称,NASA得知存在裂纹问题已经一段时间,最近一次发现是去年9月的测试中。

GAO的调查意见可能使SpaceX面临重大挫折。SpaceX的计划是,除了现有的人造卫星业务,未来还将发射载人航天飞船。去年9月猎鹰9号火箭在卡纳维拉尔角的发射台发生爆炸后,该计划已中断四个月。那次事故给该司造成超过2亿美元的收入损失。今年1月,SpaceX重新发射火箭,未出现任何事故。(财富中文网)

作者:Geoffrey Smith

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

The WSJ quoted officials Thursday as saying that the Government Accountability Office's investigation into the Falcon 9 rockets has uncovered "persistent cracking of vital propulsion components." The problem mainly affects turbine blades that pump fuel into the rocket's engines. The findings are preliminary, and the GAO report is due to be released in the next few weeks, according to the WSJ.

It added that NASA has already warned the company that cracking in the so-called turbo pumps is an "unacceptable" risk. It's one that NASA has known about for some time, with cracks found during tests as recently as last September, the WSJ quoted acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot as saying.

The GAO's conditions could prove a big setback to SpaceX, which aims to offer manned spaceflight launches in the future alongside its current satellite launching business, which is already backed up due to a four-month hiatus after a Falcon 9 exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in September. The incident cost it over $200 million in lost revenue. SpaceX resumed launches in January with an incident-free flight.

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