Friday is the happiest day of the week, but not for SpaceX. The space company’s Falcon 9R rocket exploded in the air earlier today over McGregor, Texas, an apparent self-destruction after the system detected something faulty going on.
The explosion was the result of automatic termination resulting from the detection of a malfunction. Elon Musk took to his Twitter account to explain what went down, saying, “Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight. No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky …”
This is the rocket with snazzy retractable legs and the same model as the rocket that shuttled the Dragon off to the International Space Station a couple years ago. SpaceX seems calm about the snafu, but not everyone is agreeable.
In a conversation with the folks at Mashable, a local resident going by the Twitter handle @EthansMommy17 said that cows in the area were killed by falling debris. She posted a relatively close-up image of the rocket in the midst of a fireball; SpaceX hasn’t responded to the claim.