With NASA dealing with all those draconian budget cuts, private spacefarers like SpaceX have stepped in to fill the void — but that doesn’t mean they have it all figured out just yet.
The company was testing an experimental new rocket at its Texas facility when the craft exploded in midair. No one was injured, and the rocket remained on its designated flight path. The explosion was triggered automatically by the onboard computer after it detected an “anomaly” in the vehicle.
The rocket was a three-engine version of SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket, and once they eventually work out the kinks, it could be a major player in space travel over the next few years. As for Space X founder Elon Musk, he had the perfect comment in confirming the explosion:
Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight. No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2014
Tricky indeed. It obviously sucks that a cutting-edge piece of tech exploded during its second test (the first attempt in April was successful to 820 feet), but you’ve gotta love Musk’s attitude. It might be tricky, but he shows no sign of slowing down. It’s nice to see somebody confident and committed to getting us up there to the stars.
Someone near the launch was able to grab some footage of the explosion, and you can check it out below: