Images via Pixabay/Victor Tangermann
SpaceX Fireball

Watch a SpaceX Rocket Explode in Mid-Flight

byVictor Tangermann
1. 21. 20
Images via Pixabay/Victor Tangermann

It looks like a scene out of "Star Wars."

Big Fireball

Early Sunday morning, SpaceX launched its astronaut-ferrying Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Then, 84 seconds after launch, the rocket blew up in a gigantic fireball several miles above the Atlantic Ocean — a spectacular failure that was all part of the plan, Space.com reports.

Abort Test

The Elon Musk-led spacetech company was conducting an “in-flight abort test” — a launch escape system that allows the Crew Dragon capsule to gain distance between it and the rocket below if anything goes awry during launch.

Advertisement

During the test, eight SuperDraco thrusters fired up and accelerated the capsule away from the ill-fated rocket. The Falcon 9 primary stage exploded into smithereens shortly after — something SpaceX was expecting to happen.

A Terrifying Sight

It was the last major test for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will — if everything goes according to plan — carry NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station as soon as April.

On Sunday, the spacecraft was only carrying two data-collecting crash-test dummies. After the test, it splashed down safely in the Atlantic ocean, its descent slowed by four parachutes.

“Today, we watched the demonstration of a system that we hope to never use, but can save lives if we ever do,” Hurley said in a NASA statement from Sunday. “It took a lot of work between NASA and SpaceX to get to this point, and we can’t wait to take a ride to the space station soon.”

Advertisement

READ MORE: SpaceX aces Crew Dragon launch abort test, destroys rocket on purpose [Space.com]

More on SpaceX: SpaceX Says It’ll Drive Astronauts to Launchpad in Tesla Model X


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.