In the above video, mission control is speechless after the cataclysmic failure of the SpaceX CRS-7 mission mere minutes after launch today. The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule exploded in the upper atmosphere during the point at which they experienced the strongest aerodynamic stress.
The camera adjusts angles several times as a string of bright flashes and flaming wreckage are clearly visible in the last moments of the video.
According to SpaceX and CEO Elon Musk, an anomaly occurred shortly after lift-off. The following tweets vaguely described the series of events:
— SpaceX (@SpaceX)
The vehicle experienced an anomaly on ascent. Team is investigating. Updates to come.
Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown. Will provide more info as soon as we review the data.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause.
Although a brief press conference began and concluded shortly after the explosion, few . SpaceX is an ambitious company, and their desire to change the future of spaceflight has led to the destruction of rockets previously.
Falcon 9 rockets are unique because they are designed to be fully reusable. This is the company’s attempt to drastically reduce the cost of space travel. So far, these operations have been mostly unsuccessful:
Today’s SpaceX CRS-7 mission would have marked the to land a Falcon 9 rocket in a floating ocean platform. Many advocates of the technology demand more patience, such as astronaut Scott Kelly who proposed that “space is hard.” Opponents continue to (unfairly) counter that Musk has wasted millions of dollars and countless resources during the failed attempts.
The SpaceX CRS-7 mission was also scheduled to resupply the International Space Station. The failure poses no immediate risk to the ISS. In addition to resupply cargo, the Falcon 9 rocket also carried several science experiments and technologies yet to be introduced to space. Notably, Microsoft’s HoloLens went up in flames along with the rest of the craft.
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