SpaceX experienced its first big blunder earlier this week when one of its reusable rocket prototypes blew up over Texas on Friday, shortly after launch.
The detonation of the prototype, called the Falcon 9 Reusable Development 1 vehicle (or the F9R vehicle, for short), took place over McGregor, Texas on August 22nd at their test facility. The reusable rocket technology was built in such a manner that its on-board systems include a termination function that causes the vehicle to self destruct if its operations are compromised in any way.
In a statement made on twitter, a representative for SpaceX said: “During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission,” the statement reads. “Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times,” it concluded.
The Falcon 9 Reusable Development 1 vehicle, with it three engines, is extraordinary in every way, but it clearly has some kinks that still need to be worked out. Given the fact that this instance was the only slip-up in the history of SpaceX, we’ll surely see more successful launches in the future.
See a video here.