In the process of revolutionizing space travel, there’s bound to be a few hiccups.
On Friday, SpaceX experienced one of those hiccups. During a test flight at their Texas development site, a three-engine version of the company’s unmanned Falcon 9 reusable (F9R) rocket self-destructed shortly after launching.
Flight Cut Short
With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test.
The F9R, a successor to the company’s Grasshopper rocket, is designed deliver cargo to orbiting destinations like the International Space Station and — most n0tably — guide itself safely back to Earth for reuse. It’s part of SpaceX’s ultimate goal of economizing space travel, by eliminating the company’s dependence on single-use rockets.