News Explosion at SpaceX launch pad destroys rocket, satellite

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by dawg, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A massive fireball and explosion erupted Thursday at SpaceX's main launch pad, destroying a rocket as well as a satellite that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa.

    There were no injuries. The pad had been cleared of workers before what was supposed to be a routine pre-launch rocket test.

    SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the accident occurred during the fueling of the rocket and originated around the upper-stage oxygen tank.

    "Cause still unknown," Musk said via Twitter. "More soon."

    The explosion -- heard and felt for miles around -- dealt a severe blow to SpaceX, still scrambling to catch up with satellite deliveries following a launch accident last year. It's also a setback for NASA, which has been relying on the private company to keep the International Space Station stocked with supplies and, ultimately, astronauts.

    SpaceX was preparing for the test firing of its unmanned Falcon rocket when the blast occurred shortly after 9 a.m. at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The test was in advance of Saturday's planned launch of an Israeli-made communications satellite that was supposed to provide home internet for parts of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

    A video of the explosion shows a fireball enveloping the top of the rocket. Moments later, the payload fairing plunged to the ground, followed by more explosions.

    Buildings four miles away shook from the blast, and a series of explosions continued for several minutes. Dark smoke filled the overcast sky. A half-hour later, a black cloud hung low across the eastern horizon.

    TV cameras showed smoke coming from the launch pad five hours later. Most of the rocket was still standing, although the top third or so was clearly bent over.

    The explosion occurred at Launch Complex 40 at the Air Force station, right next door to Kennedy Space Center, where emergency staff was on standby following the accident. At the same time, personnel were monitoring the air for any toxic fumes. The Air Force stressed there was no threat to public safety in the surrounding communities.

    The initial blast sent next-door NASA employees rushing frantically outside to see what happened.

    Because the pad was still burning, it remained off-limits to everyone as the afternoon wore on. "We want to make sure we isolate any potential problem," said Shawn Walleck, a spokesman for the Air Force's 45th Space Wing, "because at this point, we've had no casualties, we've had no injuries, and we want to keep it that way."

    Facebook spokesman Chris Norton said his company was "disappointed by the loss, but remain committed to our mission of connecting people to the internet around the world." Founder Mark Zuckerberg was in Kenya on Thursday, discussing internet access with government officials.

    The satellite's Israeli-based operator, Spacecom, said the loss will have "a significant impact" on the company. Just last November, ground controllers lost contact with the previous satellite in this so-called Amos series. Spacecom said the new satellite was supposed to provide services to television and internet operators.

    The Falcon rocket destroyed Thursday is the same kind used to launch space station supplies for NASA. The last such flight took place in July. SpaceX is one of two companies making deliveries. The company also is working on a crew capsule to ferry station U.S. astronauts.

    Two NASA astronauts were conducting a spacewalk 250 miles up, outside the International Space Station, when the explosion occurred. Mission Control did not notify them of the accident, saying all communication was focused on the spacewalk.

    The California-based SpaceX had been ramping up with frequent launches to make up for a backlog created by a launch accident in June 2015. In that mishap, a support strut evidently snapped in the upper stage; the problem was fixed.

    SpaceX is leasing the pad from the Air Force for its Falcon launches. The company is also redoing a former shuttle pad at Kennedy for future manned flights for NASA. The first crewed flight was supposed to take place by the end of next year. Boeing also is working to develop a crew capsule for NASA.

    Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., whose single space shuttle flight ended 10 days before the Challenger disaster in 1986, said the SpaceX accident "reminds us all that space flight is an inherently risky business."

    "As we continue to push the frontiers of space, there will be both triumphs and setbacks. But at the end of the day, I'm confident that our commercial space industry will be very successful," Nelson said in a statement.



    U.S. Senator Bill Nelson issued this statement following the explosion:

    Today’s incident reminds us all that space flight is an inherently risky business. As we continue to push the frontiers of space, there will be both triumphs and setbacks. But at the end of the day, I’m confident that our commercial space industry will be very successful.
    The rocket was supposed to hoist an $85 million Israeli satellite this weekend. The Falcon 9 rocket, also lost in the blast, cost $62 million.

    Bus tours at Kennedy Space Center have been canceled as a result of the explosion.

    http://cbs12.com/news/local/spacex-falcon-9-explosion
     
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  2. Summer

    Summer Shed Punisher VIP

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    My friend called me to tell me this and I was like, I'm doing my hair I gotta go.
     
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  3. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    Everytime they try and actually put something into space, it blows up.
    @Jim J Jewblets

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. BrulesRules

    BrulesRules Just grab 'em in the biscuits Gold

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    It was a facebook satellite hoping to spread internet service in Africa :jj: :yes:
     
  5. ChimneySweep

    ChimneySweep Well-Known Member

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    NASA is fake. There are no rockets that go into "space". Move on.
     
  6. Roland Schwinn

    Roland Schwinn *Likes reported as of October 14, 2016 Gold

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    What's happening on the top of the tower on the right at the 9 second mark? Seems like it is smoking , is the heat from the firball incinerating that thing or something?!

    Awesome explosion. Can't imagine feeling that 4 miles away. Wow.
     
  7. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    The heat of the fireball is incinerating the protective weather paint on the tower.
    I think.
     
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  8. Sloppyjoe

    Sloppyjoe VIP Extreme Gold

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    Israeli made satellite: oy:
     
  9. FosterKitten

    FosterKitten Well-Known Member

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    My husband works only a few miles from the explosion. He works for a different company and not for Space X. He was on his way to work when he heard the explosions and then he could see the fire. I'll have to ask him more when he gets home this evening. I have a lot of friends that work out there and they said the buildings shook and it was very smoky for a few hours.
     
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  10. DogStar69

    DogStar69 Well-Known Member

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    The news earlier was talking about space X plans for trips to the moon :derp:
     
  11. Mike Huntslooce

    Mike Huntslooce Maker of Champions Gold

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    My bro contracts for NASA (we both do software for contractors on base at Kennedy). He works in a building across from the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building - the big ass building where the shuttle was prepped for launch). He thinks the building is 2+ miles from launch pad 40. Sent me a pic at 9:12AM of the smoke from the parking lot. He said people went running out of the building when it shook so hard shit started dropping from the ceiling.
     
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  12. jokeland

    jokeland Well-Known Member VIP

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    and we're going to let them design driverless cars?
     
  13. ChimneySweep

    ChimneySweep Well-Known Member

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  14. DrSublux

    DrSublux Who am dis VIP

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    satellite that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. JonGnagyBeard

    JonGnagyBeard Well-Known Member

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  16. DaTenses

    DaTenses Well-Known Member

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    Listen all ya'll it's sabotage