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What caused the early shutdown of Virgin rocket's upper stage? The previous failure was also due to early shutdown of engine, although that was first stage failure. As per reports available in public, it was failure of LOX feed line for previous failure. Is the same anomaly repeated for upper stage?

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    $\begingroup$ It typically takes several months to investigate a rocket failure. It only happened 5 days ago. There is no way that anybody can answer this question, not even Virgin Orbit. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ As there is no official report, any answer would be based on conjecture, therefore I'm voting to close this as opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD feel free to leave an answer to What's best to do about questions that might not be answerable for a few months? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag ditto $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 11:42

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It appears that the engine overheated. The failure began with an issue with a $100 part, or more specifically a fuel filter. It was dislodged and therefore caused the overheating of the engine. This then prematurely shut it down. One other thing to note, it seems that faulty telemetry was at fault. Looking at the launch video, the telemetry reported nonsensical speed and altitude. Combined with the fact that they orginally said that they had achieved orbit, and then around a half an hour later revised that statement, it appears that they didn't even have accurate information on the rocket and therefore were unable to attempt to fix the problem in the moment.

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  • $\begingroup$ How would they have fixed a dislodged fuel filter? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ They couldn't fix the fuel filter, they could try to find a workaround. These are very smart people. They can sometimes find solutions @OrganicMarble $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ Upvoted. How are you generating your links? I just noticed that the URIs contain a "text" parameter that looks like it should act like a deep link (i.e. citing a particular part of the text). It doesn't seem to work on Firefox, but that's pretty neat. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, I think I was unclear; I meant getting the URLs as you have them (e.g. spacenews.com/…. ). Share function in a browser? $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ from a google search it sometimes automatically gives it to you like that (i think i searched:what caused virgin ones launch failure) @ErinAnne $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 22:43

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