TORONTO – SpaceX has lost its Falcon 9 rocket as well as the Dragon spacecraft that was heading to the space station Sunday morning.
SpaceX was scheduled to launch its Dragon spacecraft aboard its Falcon 9 rocket at 10:21 a.m. Sunday morning. On board was a docking ring that would have prepared the space station to receive new commercial spacecraft.
“We appear to have had a launch vehicle failure, ” announced NASA commentator George Diller.
“This is a tough day, ” NASA’s top spaceflight official, William Gerstenmaier told reporters. He said there was nothing common among the three accidents, “other than it’s space and it’s difficult to go fly.”
The last data received was 2:19 into the launch. It was still unclear what happened and at what point the vehicle failed.
The vehicle experienced an anomaly on ascent. Team is investigating. Updates to come.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX)
— NASA (@NASA)
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight)
Aside from launching supplies to the space station, this will was to be SpaceX’s third attempt at landing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back on a floating ocean platform after a launch to the station. So far, the rocket has been able to reach the platform, but has been lost twice after tipping over or running out of fuel.
Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield told the Associated Press the supply situation could prompt another delay in sending up the crew.
“You don’t want to launch another crew if there’s not going to be enough food, enough water, ” Hadfield said.
SpaceX is aiming to reduce the cost of launching rockets into space by having reusable rockets.
This is the third failed resupply launch to the space station in eight months.
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