Sunday, June 28, 2015

SpaceX Rocket Explodes After Liftoff From Cape Canaveral


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -  A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying  more than 4,000 pounds of supplies and payloads to the International Space Station exploded minutes after liftoff from from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  

“We are disappointed in the loss of the latest SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a release. "However, the astronauts are safe aboard the station and have sufficient supplies for the next several months. We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight. The commercial cargo program was designed to accommodate loss of cargo vehicles. We will continue operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we continue to use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system." 

A double disappointment came to students who rebuilt their experiments after they were destroyed during a launch explosion in Wallops, Virginia last year. The rebuilt experiments were aboard today's SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida that also exploded.

SpaceX would not specify the cost of Sunday's launch during a press conference held today. However, SpaceX has said in the past that the price range for each launch costs between $80 to $125 million. 

According to the National Weather Service radar, debris from the rocket, Dragon 9 capsule, and payload fell into the Atlantic Ocean from an altitude of 150,000 feet with a debris field that spans just east of New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Data provided by a NOAA buoy closest to the debris fields indicates that 1.6 ft. waves were traveling in an east-northeasterly direction while winds were coming from the south-southwest at 9-10 knots. 

If you spot debris in the water or see it washed up anywhere along the Eastern Florida shore, officials ask that you report it to either NASA’s debris reporting hotline at 321-867-2121 or Patrick Air Force Base at 321-494-7001 or contact your nearest local law enforcement official. Do not attempt to pick it up or make cell phone calls near it. Gather all information that clearly identifies its location of the debris but only do so after leaving the area. Some of the debris may be toxic or explosive in nature and may be potentially hazardous, which is why it needs to be reported to and handled by trained professionals. Additionally, please keep in mind that all debris is considered part of an official investigation.


Video credit: NASA



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