In the news item on the website of ABC's affiliate station WFTV in Florida Official: SpaceX explosion nearly destroyed asteroid-seeking OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, there is discussion of a loss of pressure and cooling following the SpaceX 'fast fire' (explosion) during a test on September 1st, 2016. I don't understand what kind of pressure or cooling was lost, and how that could have destroyed OSIRIS-REx.
I am not even sure how far apart these two rockets were, or why their systems were coupled in such a way that a failure at one location could so easily lead to the failure of critical systems and potential loss of an expensive payload at a different location. It's not like rockets never explode.
Could someone either show a map, or give GPS coordinates that can be googled that illustrate exactly where these two rockets were at the time? What are the "adjoining facilities" mentioned below? It almost sounds like the technicians had to run in to a burning building to fix a refrigerator!
OSIRIS-REx was sitting atop an Atlas V rocket at an adjoining facility, set to launch a week later, when the SpaceX rocket exploded during a static test, NASA said.
In a release, 45th Space Wing mission support group commander Lt. Col. Greg Lindsey, detailed the emergency response to the explosion at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Included in his description was information on how technicians had to fight to save OSIRIS-REx as emergency personnel put out fires from the SpaceX explosion.
As his teams responded to the explosion, Lindsey was told that the cooling system at Launch Complex 41 was losing pressure.
“Without those chillers, the spacecraft for the next launch (OSIRIS-REx) would be lost,” he said. “Needless to say, at this point I had to reestablish our priorities and get a team working on a way … to allow access for technicians to enter in order to make the necessary repairs.”
As Lindsey and his personnel were developing a plan, there was a critical loss of pressure at Launch Complex 41 “and technicians had to get to (OSIRIS-REx) immediately.”
With assistance from Kennedy Space Center, a response team from the 45th Space Wing was able to circumvent the site of the explosion, get to Launch Complex 41 and save OSIRIS-REx, Lindsey said.