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Space X Dragon spacecraft to get survival software update

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Space X is giving its Dragon spacecraft a software upgrade so it might be able to save itself in the event of a rocket explosion.

The decision, announced on Monday by company founder Elon Musk, is one of the results of an investigation being carried out into the explosion last month of a Falcon 9 rocket and the loss of its Dragon cargo capsule. It had been heading to the International Space Station.

The accident occurred about two minutes after lift-off and was due to the failure of a strut in the rocket’s second stage, according to preliminary findings, said Musk. The strut held down a helium bottle inside a liquid oxygen fuel tank and when it failed, the helium tank was propelled to the top of the liquid oxygen tank causing it to release a large amount of helium and precipitating the “over-pressure event” that led to the Falcon 9’s televised demise.

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