SpaceX Vehicle Explodes During Test
On September 1st, one of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets exploded as it prepared for launch.
During preparation for an upcoming launch, the Falcon 9 rocket exploded after propellant was loaded into the upper portion of the rocket. It was meant to just be a static fire test, where the rocket boosters are fueled and activated, but the vehicle itself is constrained, the preparatory work proved to be disastrous.
With a long history of successful launches, the incident came as a surprise. The launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida has now been badly damaged, though SpaceX has stated that they will continue to launch rockets from their secondary launch pads in California and Florida.
Nobody was seriously injured by the incident, but there were reports of shattered windows across the facility. Besides the damage incurred to the launch pad, the Amos 6 communications satellite payload it was meant to carry was also destroyed. Intended to be a crucial datalink in Facebook’s Internet.org project, the satellite payload was completely destroyed in the explosion.
SpaceCom, the company that provided the satellite, is now demanding the SpaceX either offer a free ride into orbit on one of their next launches, or pay $50 million to help recoup losses. SpaceX has yet to offer a response.
SpaceX has stated that it intends to resume launching rockets from its auxiliary pads as early as November.