SpaceX rocket on ISS resupply mission explodes over the Atlantic

By Shawn Knight
Jun 28, 2015
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  1. spacex nasa international space station elon musk iss falcon 9 rocket spacex falcon 9

    An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station exploded shortly after launching from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Sunday. It was the first time a Falcon 9 rocket has failed following 18 successful launches.

    The rocket began its ascent to space at 10:21 a.m. Eastern time under excellent weather conditions. Two minutes and 19 seconds into the flight, however, disaster struck. The spacecraft exploded in a plume of white smoke, sending debris raining down over the Atlantic Ocean.

    SpaceX founder Elon Musk said via Twitter that there was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank and that data suggests a counterintuitive cause. Musk said that’s all his company can say with confidence right now and that they’d have more information following a thorough analysis.

    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said this is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge and that they learn from each success and each setback. The latest launch attempt will not deter the space agency from their ambitious human spaceflight program, he added.

    The rocket was carrying more than 4,300 pounds of food, supplies and research equipment destined for the ISS. Among the supplies on board were a pair of HoloLens-powered Sidekicks that we reported on last week.

    Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident. Crew members aboard the ISS have enough supplies to last until October, NASA said. Another resupply mission is scheduled for this coming Friday followed by the launch of a Japanese rocket with supplies in August.

    Image courtesy John Raoux, AP

    Permalink to story.

  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,550   +594

    Maybe I'm used to seeing Space Shuttle launches, but it sure looked like it was rising awfully slow. Plus a lot of flames coming out sideways from where the exhaust meets the main frame of the rocket.

    I don't know - it just didn't "look right." Especially the explosion. ;)
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,525   +828

    this seems to be general consensus across the web too from what ive been reading. pretty close to word for word, as in "rising slowly" and "just didnt look right"
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,164

    CaptainCranky cracked one of the thruster rings with an over pressurized airsoft gun while it was trying to make its way through the skybog at 0:00-1:04. Note the burst of flame on the side of the thrusters facing the camera at 1:05. That's one hell of a BB.
  5. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Maniac Posts: 475   +153

    Today is a sad day for Elon Musk and I empathize with him. I hope the repercussions don't fall extremely harsh on him; the innovation he's striving for is good for space competition. He has to lower the cost of the missions so we can dream again with space exploration.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,164

    I'm sure he grumbled with sincere discontent when his rocket blew its load all over the sky.
  7. Thank God it didn't exploded next to the ISS.
    BMfan likes this.
  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,525   +828

    From what ive read elsewhere it will be several months before the FAA approves spaceX's findings to launch again.
  9. NeurotechHD

    NeurotechHD TS Rookie Posts: 61   +19

    Elon Musk said "data suggests a counterintuitive cause" - Is that a fancy way for saying there may have been a bomb planted on-board?
  10. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 216   +72

    Its a sad day.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I hope the recoil didn't hurt to badly. Cranky may have shoulder pains now. I wonder how many times he had to pump to get enough range?
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  12. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,587   +278

    "Vehicle launch failure"... That's putting it mildly.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    From what I've heard Cranky's had so much practice pumping hard it doesn't bother him anymore. :D
  14. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    18 successful launches? Seems like they were due for a failure. I'm most upset that they couldn't try and catch the rocket on their barge.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  15. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 814   +382

    A silly statement, seeing how the entire thing, which we call a "rocket" is one huge bomb where rocket scientists try and control and direct that explosion.
    davislane1 likes this.
  16. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 135   +50

    My favourite line about this story came from "NASA commentator" (whatever that is) George Diller, who said, "We appear to have had a launch vehicle failure."

    Appearances can be deceiving, but George, I'm pretty sure we can say the rocket exploded.
  17. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    "This is the second failed station shipment in a row. In April, a Russian cargo ship spun out of control and burned up upon re-entry, along with all its precious contents. And last October, another company's supply ship was destroyed in a launch accident."
  18. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,164

    Such is the nature of playing with fire, no matter how sophisticated the flame.
  19. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    Due for a failure? Low expectations, eh?
  20. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    That was an expensive way to feed the fish.
  21. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    Rocketry is not fire and no one is playing
  22. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,164

    They've developed a rocket that works without fire? News to me.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    And playing with fire is exactly how rockets were developed. lol
  24. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    I had incredibly high hopes for the launch so I wouldn't say low expectations. Just that it would be naive to think everything would work out perfectly every time.
  25. Perhaps, now is the right time for Elon Musk to use Tesla's battery technology to propel SpaceX Rocket into space.. Full-electric-space-rocket-powered-by-tesla-powerwall, LOL :D

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