MouseR writes with bad news about this morning’s SpaceX launch: About 2:19 into its flight, Falcon 9 exploded along stage 2 and the Dragon capsule, before even the stage 1 separation. Telemetry and videos are inconclusive, without further analysis as to what went wrong. Everything was green lights. This is a catastrophe for SpaceX, which enjoyed, until now, a perfect launch record.
TechCrunch has coverage of the failure, which of course also means that today’s planned stage one return attempt has failed before it could start; watch this space for more links.
Update: 06/28 15:06 GMT by T : See also stories
at NBC News,
The Washington Post, and the Associated Press (via ABC News). According to the Washington Post, what was a catastrophe for this morning’s launch is only a setback for the ISS and its crew, rather than a disaster:
A NASA slide from an April presentation said that with current food levels, the space station would reach what NASA calls “reserve level” on July 24 and run out by Sept. 5, according to SpaceNews.
[NASA spokeswoman Stephanie] Schierholz said, however, that the supplies would last until the fall, although she could not provide a precise date. Even if something were to go wrong with the SpaceX flight, she said, there are eight more scheduled this year, including several this summer, “so there are plenty of ways to ensure the station continues to be well-supplied.”
Of note: One bit of cargo that was aboard the SpaceX craft was a Microsoft Hololens; hopefully another will make it onto one of the upcoming supply runs instead.
Elon Musk has posted a note on the company’s Twitter channel: “Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown. Will provide more info as soon as we review the data.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.