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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight 113

Posted by timothy
from the fly-up-go-boom dept.
SpaceMika (867804) writes "A SpaceX test flight at the McGregor test facility ended explosively on Friday afternoon. A test flight of a three-engine Falcon 9 Dev1 reusable rocket ended in a rapid unscheduled disassembly after an unspecified anomaly triggered the Flight Termination System, destroying the rocket. No injuries were reported." Update: 08/23 13:33 GMT by T : Space.com has video.
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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

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  • Re:Exactly! (Score:5, Informative)

    by rasmusbr (2186518) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:46AM (#47736047)

    This really moves SpaceX up in my estimation as well. Until now, I pictured private space flight as focusing only on making profits, not sacrificing dollars in order to protect people around them. Maybe the privatization of space flight has a future after all!

    Uhhh, yeah, let me know how well the PR monkey handles explaining to the general public that your loved ones aboard their dream vacation to space were blown up on purpose as a safety measure.

    Good luck with that shit.

    Manned capsules must have an emergency escape system.

    Basically what would happen is explosive bolts would detach the capsule from the rocket and the capsule would fly away under its own power until it's far enough away from the rocket. Then the rocket would self destruct and the capsule would come down to a safe-ish landing either under parachutes or under its own power.

    This is nothing new, NASA had this in the 1960's, the Russians [youtube.com] evidently had it in the 1980's. Also the Kerbals, apparently.

  • Re:Exactly! (Score:5, Informative)

    by v1 (525388) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:49AM (#47736067) Homepage Journal

    Look at the top of any manned rocket. see that "mini rocket" looking thing strapped to the top? that's an "escape tower". It IS a mini rocket. if there's a catastrophic faulure on a rocket massive enough to go to the moon, you REALLY don't want it hitting dirt before it explodes. The cabin module separates from the top with explosive bolts, and the escape tower pulls them a distance away from the main rocket and after awhile a parachute goes off.

    Probaby still a heck of a close call though, being so close to the rocket when it blows up. But you still have a chance.

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