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

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 : has video.
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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @08:40AM (#47735797)

    Actually, yes, I'd consider that a major display of responsibility. The very last thing I'd want a rocket to do when it goes out of control is to choose its own place to go kaboom. And yes, even for a manned rocket.

  • Exactly! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @08:54AM (#47735849)

    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!

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @08:55AM (#47735855)
    Had this been a NASA test, or maybe a DOD test, it more likely would have been billed as a blatant failure. This article goes a bit out of its way to remind us this 'its a good thing to learn' this way.
  • by RoverDaddy ( 869116 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @10:43AM (#47736327) Homepage
    Totally depends on who's providing the news coverage. Fox news, yes. CNN, maybe., not so much.
    BREAKING NEWS: Media outlets are biased.
  • by cjameshuff ( 624879 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @02:20PM (#47737443) Homepage

    This was a modified Falcon 9 first stage with only 3 engines and no second stage, put together as a testbed for developing the landing capabilities. It launches off support blocks on a concrete foundation instead of a full launch pad, does various maneuvers, and lands on bare concrete right next to the launch site.

    It wasn't an orbital launch of a standard vehicle, it was a test flight with heavily modified experimental hardware and software operating under rather unusual conditions, so it really shouldn't impact other things like their attempts to compete for military launches...the actual Falcon 9 launches have actually all gone without losing a single vehicle, though there have been some minor failures and one somewhat exciting unplanned demonstration of the engine-out capability. Attempting to hold tests to the same standards as launches would be quite foolish, deterring companies from performing those tests...definitely not the desired outcome.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"