NEWS BRIEF Elon Musk, the SpaceX founder, says last week’s explosion of the Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida, days before a scheduled launch, is “turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.”
SpaceX had called the September 1 explosion “an anomaly on the pad.” The crewless rocket was due to launch a satellite last weekend, and exploded during what Musk called a “propellant fill operation.” Early Friday, Musk offered more details about the ongoing investigation into what caused the rocket to explode.
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
Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off. May come from rocket or something else.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2016
When asked on Twitter about videos on YouTube that appeared to suggest something had hit the rocket, Musk replied: “We have not ruled that out.”
The destroyed Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to take a satellite into orbit that Facebook planned to use to bring internet access to parts of the world where it is limited.