With the reusability of rocket boosters comes new conditions during launching. The SpaceX which is planning to do that has a different fueling approach. It goes by the name load-and-go. Not long ago, the NASA’s safety team commented on the matter. The panel said that they feel that it is safe. They also said that it is a high recommendation come later for others venturing into the commercial crew mission. For more details regarding that and other diverse opinions, give this piece your time.
It was Brent Jett who expressed his expectations of the team deciding on the new fueling approach. That came up during a meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. It was during the meeting held on 17th May 2018.
Everyone would understand where he was coming from then. Since its emergence, the topic regarding the way forward as far as the Load-and-Go is concerned has been a bone of contention. Why? The reason is what it is. According to the plan of SpaceX, astronauts should board the spacecraft. Then, the loading of the rocket with fuel.
Isn’t that a dangerous move? That was the stand a few years ago. After the explosion of Falcon 9 in September 2016, one of its members by the name Thomas Stafford is on record, for instance. He was one of the critics of the plan back then. He even wrote that the committee had reached a unanimous decision. The statement said that the approach would contradict what has been the norm for over 50 years. In addition to that, neither the country nor the whole world had been for the idea. Everyone expected that stand of course. SpaceX was only lucky that no one was on board during the test. Otherwise, there could have been deaths.
What has changed their stand now? According to Brent, there was a report that the committee received. The compilers were the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. After their investigation, they observed that they had taken safety measures. Jett said that it would be great if all the safety measures were put in place.
The chair of the panel, Patricia Saunders, had her opinion as well. According to her, identifying the hazards and implementing measures to counteract it would make the risk easy to take. Another member who spoke was George Nield.
According to Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, it is not definite that they will fuel the boat with the astronauts aboard. The usual approach is also a possibility. Therefore, whether the method is good or bad is not clear. Time has the answer.