Titan IV Explosion at Cape Canaveral


    The cost of the Titan IVA-20 mishap is more than $1 billion. Electrical shorts likely caused a Titan IVA rocket to self-destruct shortly after launch Aug. 12, 1998. According to an Air Force Space Command accident investigation board report, electrical shorts in the vehicle power supply wiring harness most likely caused the vehicle to catastrophically fail 41 seconds into powered flight from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The shorts originated in the second stage of the core vehicle. The board found evidence that a wire with damaged insulation -- undetected during pre-launch inspections and tests -- intermittently shorted as vehicle vibration increased after liftoff. More information can be found at http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/launch/n19990119_990066.htm

    Air Force Topics