In context: Last month, we reported on SpaceX's successful launch of its unmanned "Crew Dragon" capsule. That was pretty huge news at the time, and after it successfully landed without a hitch, things were looking very positive for future Crew Dragon tests (and eventual crewed flights). Unfortunately, things haven't quite panned out as SpaceX hoped.
During a recent "static test fire" at Cape Canaveral, the capsule caught fire as the result of an "anomaly," though SpaceX has not yet elaborated on what that means.
The status of Crew Dragon after this dilemma was unclear, but it has now been officially confirmed that the capsule was destroyed. "...just prior to when we wanted to fire the SuperDraco, there was an anomaly, and the vehicle was destroyed," SpaceX vice president of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann said in a statement. " SuperDraco, for the unaware, is the name SpaceX gave to the Crew Dragon's engine.
Koenigsmann says SpaceX's engineers have been given "no reason" to believe there is anything amiss with the SuperDraco engines themselves, so it seems likely that some other unforeseen issue cropped up during the launch. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
As previously stated, the exact cause of the capsule's destruction is unknown, but SpaceX and NASA are working "very closely" to find out what happened. When the organizations find the cause, they will likely disclose it to the public - with a little luck, it may have been a relatively small issue, which can hopefully be rectified before any future launches.