A couple things on the SpaceX launch yesterday, first truly sorry for the failure, 18 successes and then this happened. I am very much for SpaceX, the truly innovative space company today. I was reading up on the Falcon 9 rocket and ran across this bit:
“Following the September 2013 launch, the second stage igniter propellant lines were insulated to better support in-space restart following long coast phases for orbital trajectory maneuvers. Further improvements are planned for mid 2015 including uprated engine thrust, increased propellant capacity by deep chilling the propellant and propellant tank volume increase."
Musk, E. (March 1, 2015) "Upgrades in the works to allow landing for geo missions: thrust +15%, deep cryo oxygen, upper stage tank vol +10%" Twitter.com
Interesting to note Elon Musk making a first twitter ‘There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause.’
One could read a lot into that, possibly the upper stage had the old tank, but the updated software believe it be a new tank. The tank blew once the rocket reached super sonic speed. Of course the real answer is forthcoming. Just speculation, but interesting!
Regardless, SpaceX will live through this; making them a stronger, more cautious, and an even a greater successful flyer.