SpaceX earlier this month suffered an unfortunate – and no doubt costly – incident during a routine pre-launch static test fire. Something went wrong on the launch pad which caused a massive explosion that destroyed both the Falcon 9 rocket and an AMOS-6 communications satellite set to launch a couple of days later.
Now, SpaceX needs your help in determining the cause of the explosion.
On Twitter earlier today, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said they’re still working on the investigation and that it’s turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure in the company’s 14-year history. Musk added that it’s important to note that it happened during a routine filling operation where the engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source.
He also publicly asked for support and advice from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force Public Affairs Agency. Of particular interest, he said, is a quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off.
If anyone has audio, photos or videos of the incident, Musk kindly asks that you send them to firstname.lastname@example.org as the material may be useful in the investigation.
As TechCrunch notes, there are some users on YouTube that believe an external object may have struck the rocket which led to the explosion. Musk this morning said they have not yet ruled that out as a possibility.
Some conspiracy theorists, meanwhile, suggest the rocket was destroyed intentionally either by competing firms or aliens.