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No injuries were reported following the mid-air explosion

You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.”
 
The SpaceX team suffered a setback yesterday when its experimental Falcon 9-R (F9R) reusable rocket experienced a malfunction during a test flight in Texas. According to SpaceX, an “anomaly was detected” during the test flight, and as a result, the flight was auto-aborted and the rocket F9R was instructed to self-destruct.

  [Image Source: News Channel 25]

 
In a statement released via Twitter, the company explained:
 
With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test.
 
Luckily for SpaceX, they already have a second F9R already in production, so not all is lost when it comes to its reusable rocket platform.
 
When we last visited the F9R in May, the rocket made a test flight to a height of 3,280 feet, hovered in place for a short while, then slowly descended back to its launch pad.

 F9R test flight from May 2014
 
SpaceX’s “endgame” with the F9R tests (and subsequent prototypes) is to develop rockets that can launch payloads into space, then make a controlled landing back to Earth where they can be quickly refueled to partake on another mission. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk calls this concept “rapid reusability” and likens it to the airline industry where aircraft are refueled after a flight, and then sent to the next destination.
 
This makes more sense than scrapping the entire vehicle after just one flight and will lead to more cost-effective space travel according to Musk.

Sources: News Channel 25 [via Facebook], SpaceX [via Twitter}, Elon Musk [via Twitter]





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