NASA to look into SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engine failure

Hanno Labuschagne

Staff member
Sep 2, 2019
NASA to look into SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engine failure

NASA will review an engine failure last month that caused Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Falcon 9 rocket booster to land in the sea after a satellite launch, as the U.S. agency prepares for the next crewed flight to the International Space Station in April.

One of the Falcon 9’s nine Merlin engines shut down Feb. 15 during ascent because of a hole in one of the covers, or “boots,” around the top of each engine, Benji Reed, SpaceX’s director of human spaceflight, said Monday at a NASA news conference.

The hole allowed hot gas into the engine, which shut off as designed, Reed said. But that meant that the rocket had insufficient thrust during its landing burn to reach a drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.



Expert Member
Nov 27, 2011
Benji Reed (SpaceX): Notes that by flying Falcon 9 rockets so often, they are learning more about the launch vehicle. An anomaly during the recent Starlink mission was due to a boot having a hole in it during ascent. An engine was shutdown safely as a result.