The unmanned spacecraft, which had been carrying supplies to the global Space Station, was destroyed less than three-minutes after taking off.
SpaceX’s seventh cargo resupply mission to the global Space Station exploded just minutes after liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday.
As of Monday morning, founder Elon Musk tweeted, no cause had been determined after “several thousand engineering-hours” of review. Musk says that engineers use now a hex editor parsing the data to reconstruct what happened in the last milliseconds before the explosion. This is the third cargo mission that did not work out in eight months for NASA.
The failure was confirmed by NASA spokesman George Diller, while SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said they are still assessing what happened. They basically designed a device to measure the effects micro-gravity at the global Space Station would have on antibiotics.
SpaceX has made seven trips to the ISS under a contract the company has with NASA.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and dragon spacecraft seen disintegrating here after a launch failure on June 28, 2015.
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 station crew has about four months of food and supplies on board, so the accident would not pose an immediate problem.
“A Progress vehicle is ready to launch 3 July, followed in August by a Japanese HTV flight”. The cargo blown to smithereens on Sunday, including a docking ring which was supposed to be used in the future by two USA crew vehicles, Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Dragon. SpaceX is still trying to put the pieces together and because of this incident it has been forced to alter future planned launches.
The cause of the explosion was not yet clear, officials said.
NASA is asking anyone living along Florida’s Atlantic coast to call authorities if they find any rocket debris.
The SpaceX cargo craft that exploded was carrying more than 4,000 pounds of supplies and equipment, including what NASA called “critical materials” for onboard science and research investigations, like tracking meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere, growing food in space and tackling in-space crew health risks.