SpaceX-plosion: The Falcon-9 rocket
The Falcon-9 rocket created by SpaceX and its Israeli cargo exploded on the launch pad during a static fire test on Sept. 1. When the smoke cleared, an investigation was launched and SpaceX began looking to rebuild, and space exploration continues.
SpaceX – or Space Exploration Technologies Cooperation – is an aerospace company that was created with the goal of decreasing the cost of space exploration. They built the Falcon-1 and Falcon-9 rockets, to be reused, and the Dragon Spacecraft used to carry supplies to the International Space Station.
While the company has its business centered at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California, it launches rockets from Florida’s famous Kennedy Space Center located in Cape Canaveral.
The Falcon-9 rocket was undergoing ground tests at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at Kennedy Space Center when it exploded on Sept. 1, luckily, unmanned. No one was hurt, but the 220-foot rocket and the Amos-6 communication satellite that the rocket was going to carry were destroyed in the clouds of fire and smoke that resulted from the explosion.
Elon Musk remains absent on Twitter about the subject, but despite this absence, the race to find the source of the blast is underway. The federal Aviation Administration is launching an investigation into the disaster, but they are more likely to take on an advisory role instead of an active one.
“Much like aviation accident investigations, often the FAA is called up for its expertise on specific technical and regulatory matters,” the agency told the Wall Street Journal.
While the National Aeronautics Space Association (NASA) is reliant on SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket to continue sending cargo into space, they are also unlikely to take the lead in the investigation. However, they will be represented on the committee that is investigating the issue.
This is the second explosion that SpaceX has dealt with since the June 2015 explosion of a previous version of the Falcon-9 rocket just after a launch. Thus, the organization lies not only in the midst of the disaster and efforts to rebuild but the bad press as well.
NASA, on the other hand, has forged ahead and successfully launched an Atlas V rocket containing an asteroid probe on Sept. 8 at 7:05 p.m. and will continue to move ahead in the area of space exploration.