Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fallen Dragon: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blows up

A bad day for rocket scientists in Florida today, as the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a Dragon cargo capsule en route to the International Space Station as part of the CRS-7 mission, failed on launch.

SpaceX investigators are still trying to figure out what went wrong, and are in the process of securing all the data - telemetry, video, etc. - leading up to loss-of-signal 2:19 after the vehicle first lifted off. While this was an unmanned mission and no one was injured in the accident, it is the third loss of an ISS-bound cargo vehicle since October 2014. An Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo ship blew up just above the launchpad, while a Progress vehicle spun out of control in April after failing to separate cleanly from its Soyuz rocket.

This accident threatens to further compromise the supplies situation aboard the ISS, as the Dragon was loaded with cargo that at least partially replaced what had been lost on the previous missions.

More to come, including a contingency press conference that is expected to be held no earlier than 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

In the meantime we've just had another reminder that rocket science is hard, and there's no such thing as routine when you load vehicles with explosive substances and light them up. This, after all, is how we learn and advance our knowledge. Jarring as it may seem, it is a normal and expected outcome.

Related Articles:
Tweets from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk:

Launch video from SpaceX feed:

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Rockets are indeed dangerous.