Elon Musk says SpaceX Falcon 9 fireball investigation is 'biggest challenge yet'
'Anomaly' wasn't rocket engine's fault, he claims
SpaceX are still investigating the explosion that caused its Falcon 9 rocket, and the Facebook satellite it was carrying, to erupt into flames last week.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, tweeted earlier this morning and called the “Falcon fireball investigation” the “most difficult and complex failure” the company has faced in 14 years.
Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2016
Footage captured by the US Launch Report shows the rocket emitting grey smoke, before a huge ball of fire explodes from the top of the Falcon 9 rocket, close to where its fuel is stored.
The fire travelled along the rocket and engulfed Facebook’s Amos 6 satellite. A loud bang can be heard as the ground shakes from the explosion.
SpaceX quickly released a statement calling the explosion an “anomaly” and confirmed the loss of the vehicle and its payload.
Although the cause of the disaster has not been confirmed, SpaceX said the there was a problem with the launch pad.
Musk stressed that it was not the rocket engine’s fault in a tweet today.
Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2016
Posting on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said he was “deeply disappointed” about losing his satellite, adding that he had invested in Aquila technology – a solar powered plane that will carry a communications system to bring internet to more people.
Judging from recent events, Musk has a tough time ahead of him. He has burnt through wads of cash on the pursuit for the world’s first fully autonomous electric cars. Not only is his Tesla project expensive, but a third Tesla car crash was reported two days ago.
A man driving a Tesla Model S electric car reportedly died after colliding with a tree. Firefighters were called to the scene in the Netherlands.
The first crash happened when a Tesla driver ploughed into a tractor trailer at the end of June. The driver's death has been blamed on the malfunction of the car's autopilot mode.
The same reason was given after a second crash occurred in China. The car collided into a parked car, and luckily the driver was not harmed. ®