SpaceX Suffers Major Explosion at Cape Canaveral – Update 2



Update: SpaceX has provided a statement regarding today’s incident.

“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.”

Notably, a close reading of the wording suggests that the “anomaly” took place prior to the actual static fire itself, leaving open the possibility that it could have been associated with ground equipment and not a defect in the booster itself.

Regardless, confirmation of the loss of payload makes an already very bad day that much worse for SpaceX.

Original story:

SpaceX has suffered a major explosion at its Cape Canaveral launch complex. The company was in the midst of preparations for the planned launch of Israel’s Amos 6 satellite, and likely would have been performing an ordinarily routine pre-launch test firing of the Falcon 9 booster slated launch the payload. Such test firings often do not include the payload mated to the stage, and until confirmed, it is not necessarily a given that the explosion initiated with the booster itself, with a failure of ground equipment a possibility.

While details are still sketchy, with no immediate report of injuries, any sort of incident taking place on the scale suggested by images of smoke billowing from Space Launch Complex 40 are likely to have major implications for a company which is still trying to recover from last year’s in-flight failure of the NASA CRS-7 mission to ISS.

At the very least, today’s events will wreak havoc on both the company’s crowded launch schedule for the remainder of 2016, while almost certainly casting doubt on plans to conduct to the first test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew program late next year.


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