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SpaceX Launch Failure [Jun. 28th, 2015|10:27 am]
SpaceX unmanned resupply rocket lost

SpaceX had been bucking the trend with 18 successful missions. This morning, a launch of their Falcon9 on an International Space Station resupply run disintegrated shortly before first stage shutdown.

Though it's been labeled "explosion" it's not clear to me from the footage whether that's the right description. The first stage engines continue to burn smoothly through most of the event. It appears there is some rupture or tear in the upper stage and the rocket got basically torn apart by aerodynamic forces. Less "burst", more "shred."

No details on causes released as of yet. SpaceX is looking at the data. Again, this was an unmanned vehicle so no lives were at stake. Though it is the second ISS resupply mission to have failed, making it important that the next reach the station.

In other space news, New Horizons is about to make its pass around Pluto! 17 more days.

[User Picture]From: thump
2015-06-28 06:45 pm (UTC)
I haven't been this excited about space travel since watching shuttles go up as a kid. Space is hard indeed!

I concur with your assessment based on the video. My question is, would this have been survivable if it were a manned capsule?
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2015-06-28 11:16 pm (UTC)
Quite possibly!

If you watch the video, you can see the Dragon capsule separated. It passes above (behind in the camera's view) then shows up as a dark gumdrop shape amidst the trailing white plume to the right of frame.

SpaceX COO Gwenn (I forget her last name) said that they continued to receive telemetry from Dragon after the Falcon broke up. However Dragon didn't survive -- I'm not sure if this one simply wasn't equipped with all the new abort mechanisms or if it was damaged by the blast.
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[User Picture]From: thump
2015-06-29 12:47 am (UTC)
Yeah I've never heard that the cargo Dragons have any abort systems, I've only ever seen it mentioned for the crew version.
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[User Picture]From: sabercat
2015-07-02 05:07 pm (UTC)

So excited

For New Horizons. :) They've already piqued my interest with the teasers to date.
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