SpaceX Rocket Self Destructs
A SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket was intentionally exploded over the company's Texas proving grounds on Friday after onboard systems detected an unspecified "anomaly." The spacecraft disappeared in a fireball shortly after launch. "During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission," the company said in a statement. "Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries." The mishap was a rare setback in the program which just last week marked the successful "soft landing" of a first stage booster in the Indian Ocean.
The rockets are designed to fire as they descend and make a controlled landing. Although the demonstration last week was over the ocean, the intention is to have the boosters return to the launch site to be prepared for another use. In the murky long-range video released last week, the booster appears to be in control as it settles onto the surface of the sea, the rockets creating clouds of steam before the camera operator loses sight of the ship.