The unmanned rocket carrying supplies for the global Space Station exploded about two minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Moments after the rocket failure, the expanding white cloud of vapor was the first indication of catastrophe. What might concern NASA, though, is that the two companies it contracted to ship out food essentials have now both seen their rockets explode. It was also carrying a water filtration system and a new docking mechanism for the station. It is still not clear how the disaster occurred.
NASA’s Bill Gerstenmaier said the failure of Sunday’s mission does not necessarily affect that timeline.
Bolden’s statement tells, “We are dissatisfied in the beating of the latest SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the worldwide Space Station”. We lost a lot of important research and equipment on this flight. Aerospace experts do not believe the rocket’s design is to blame since Falcon 9 had flown a total of 18 times. Everything appeared to go well in the flight until the rocket went supersonic.
Later, on Twitter, Musk said the Falcon 9 “experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown”, referring to the phase of flight before the cargo ship would have been able to separate from the first stage of the rocket and reach orbit.
The investigation into the incident will be overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Nasa, but in the meantime there will be no further launches.
Two virtual reality headsets to empower astronauts aboard the ISS were part of the supplies on board the SpaceX’s seventh commercial re-supply mission. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the problem arose in the second stage, but refused to say more until the company knows more on the subject.
“This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback”, Bolden added.
NASA officials urge beachgoers not to pick up any debris. In addition to resupplying the space station, the rocket was supposed to make a third attempt to land on a barge. Earlier this year, the Russian government lost control of a Progress cargo vessel shortly after launch, causing it to fall back to Earth. In October, an Orbital Sciences Corp. cargo carrier was destroyed in a Virginia launch explosion.
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