29Jun2015

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

 

Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded after liftoff today over the blue skies of Cape Canaveral, Florida – the catastrophic failure happened within minutes of the launch which looked perfect.

Watch the full launch video above -the failure occurs at 2mins 45secs. The unmanned SpaceX rocket was carrying the Dragon capsule on its seventh planned mission to the International Space Station. The pod had been loaded with supplies including Microsoft’s Hololens headgear and food-making kit.

SpaceX was hoping to bring Falcon 9 back to Earth in one piece. However, the company lost contact with the rocket due to “some type of anomaly” and as a result the mission ended in failure.

NASA, which plans to hold a press conference later today to discuss its contingency plan in the aftermath of the rocket’s explosion, said it was unhappy that the CRS-7 mission had failed.

The US space agency’s administrator Charles Bolden added in a statement:

Elon Musk

We are disappointed in the loss of the latest SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

However, the astronauts are safe aboard the station and have sufficient supplies for the next several months. We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight.

The commercial cargo program was designed to accommodate loss of cargo vehicles. We will continue operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we continue to use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system.

Bolden said SpaceX’s previous six cargo resupply missions had “demonstrated extraordinary capabilities”. “We’ll work with and support SpaceX to assess what happened, understand the specifics of the failure, correct it to move forward,” he added.

“This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback. Today’s launch attempt will not deter us from our ambitious human spaceflight program.”

NASA released footage of the explosion via its Twitter account: Musk tweeted: “There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause.” Now the post-mortem begins. b  Source; The Register

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