SpaceX rocket explodes minutes after take-off

By Lindsay de Freitas
29 June 2015

An unmanned rocket sent into space by Elon Musk's SpaceX program exploded just minutes after take-off at Cape Canaveral, Florida yesterday. The rocket, named Dragon, was on a mission to resupply the International Space Station when it exploded.

The rocket has previously made 18 successful trips into space and was in the process of sending cargo to the International Space Station. The flight was carrying more than 2 tons of goods for the crew aboard the space station; including 680 kilograms of food and provisions for the crew. Also aboard the doomed spacecraft were a new docking device and a water filtration system for the space station.
Trouble began roughly two and a half minutes into the flight just before the first-stage of the rocket was about to separate from the top segment. "The vehicle has broken up…we appear to have had a launch vehicle failure," says Nasa commentator George Diller in the video of the explosion.  "There was an overpressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank…That's all we can say with confidence right now. Will have more to say following a thorough fault tree analysis" tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk after the incident. SpaceX, which is commercially contracted by Nasa to resupply the space station, will now lead an investigation into the accident.

According to NASA; the three astronauts on the space station still have enough supplies to last them until October. Even so the two Russians and one American, Scott Kelly, had been awaiting SpaceX's shipment, which was meant to arrive on Tuesday. After watching the failed launch on Sunday, American astronaut Scott, tweeted; "Today was a reminder spaceflight is hard. Tomorrow is a new day.” According to reports more cargo missions to the International Space Station are planned in coming months.


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