The Falcon 9 launched on Sunday was carrying food and supplies to the global Space Station (ISS).
The launch was the seventh commercial resupply mission for SpaceX.
The company had seven more launches planned this year including one in early August for launching the NOAA’s Jason-3 satellite to space, the satellite will aid the agency in tracking ocean levels and predict intensity of a cyclone. Live television images from SpaceX’s webcast and Nasa television showed a huge puff of smoke billowing outward, then tiny bits of the rocket falling like confetti against a backdrop of blue sky.
SpaceX’s failed launch was the third in a series of mishaps to have struck the space program within several months. We have to see how we can recover from that,”said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s human exploration division associate administrator, in a post-launch briefing. Data suggests counterintuitive cause”, disclosed Founder Elon Musk.
In any case, astronaut Scott Kelly, who was watching the event from the ISS, summed all of this up rather eloquently: “Space is hard.” Sunday’s explosion was the first for SpaceX since 2008 since the Falcon 1 did not reach orbit.
Among the goods onboard the Dragon cargo ship affixed to the Falcon 9 rocket were two Microsoft Hololens devices, which the astronauts onboard the station were going to use to communicate with mission control and to augment their experiment as part of a programme called Sidekick.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket shattered while traveling at 2,900 mph, about 27 miles up. Telemetry indicates first stage flight was nominal and that Dragon remained healthy for some period of time following separation, according to SpaceX officials.
Shotwell said Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators were already working at the site of the ill-fated launch.
Just a month ago, a problem with a Soyuz rocket caused the crash of a Russian Progress 59 resupply mission. This incidence has also raised concerns about the flow of equipment and food to the astronauts living in space stations. “We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight”, Bolden added.
Last October, a supply rocket from Dulles, Virgina-based Orbital Sciences exploded after takeoff from Wallops Island.