SpaceX Launch Ends In Failure With Rocket Eruption

June 13, 2017 – 07:38 am

(photo credit: Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying supplies and a first-of-its-kind docking port to the International Space Station broke apart Sunday shortly after liftoff. It was a severe blow to NASA, still reeling from previous failed shipments.

The accident happened about 2 1/2 minutes into the flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. A billowing white cloud emerged in the sky, growing bigger and bigger, then fiery plumes shot out of where the rocket was supposed to be, and pieces could be seen falling into the Atlantic. More than 5, 200 pounds of space station cargo were on board, including the first docking port designed for future commercial crew capsules.

“We appear to have had a launch vehicle failure, ” announced NASA commentator George Diller. Data stopped flowing from the Falcon 9 rocket around 2 minutes and 19 seconds, he said. No astronauts were on board.

The rocket shattered while traveling at 2, 900 mph, about 27 miles up. Everything appeared to go well in the flight until the rocket went supersonic.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk later took to Twitter to explain what happened.

“That’s all we can say with confidence right now, ” Musk said via Twitter. “Will have more to say following a thorough fault tree analysis.”

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell assured reporters, at an early afternoon news conference, that the company will fix the problem — “and get back to flight.”

She declined to speculate on what it would take to resume launches. She said the company had followed all procedures with respect to safety.

Losing this shipment — which included replacements for items lost in two previous failed supply flights — was a huge setback for NASA in more than one way. The space agency is counting on private industry to transport cargo — and eventually astronauts — to the orbiting lab. The California-based SpaceX is one of the contenders.


Source: losangeles.cbslocal.com

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