Pam Underwood of the FAA said the expedition had been conducted under an FAA launch license and the FAA would provide oversight to SpaceX as it tried to work out what had happened.
It was Elon Musk’s 44th birthday this weekend, but the South African billionaire didn’t have that much to be happy about. At least, this was the only truly important thing; of course, the cargo included the usual food, systems tools and hardware, research materials, computer resources and other equipment, but nothing crucial.
As the Orbital Sciences vehicle hasn’t returned to flight since its October mishap, the United States will now be dependant on Russian Federation and Japan to resupply the station.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket earlier had 18 straight successful flights before the Sunday’s flight, including 5 this year.
“Again, this is a blow to us”.
Officials with the 45th Space Wing said the debris, which could be toxic or explosive, would most likely appear along the beaches north of Cape Canaveral (in Brevard County). SpaceX and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the cause, which so far has only been attributed to a failure in the rocket’s upper stage.
SpaceX has been working to develop a way to recover and reuse rockets following a launch, something that would significantly reduce the cost of space travel.
NASA has the foresight when it comes to cargo deliveries to their space stations, and says that the astronauts have enough supplies to last until September. Also on board the Dragon was an adapter ring for the ISS that would allow future commercial vehicles easier docking access.
The company’s previous attempts in January and April failed due to technical problems, which caused the rocket to crash into the platform.
SpaceX’s Falcon rocket is supposed to be different because it wants to reuse the expensive booster by landing it precisely onto a barge in the Atlantic ocean. Officials expect the investigation to take several months. At a joint press conference with NASA and SpaceX today, space spokesmen assured that the ISS inhabitants can hold out until the next supply.