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SpaceX Dragon Destroyed in Catastrophic Explosion Soon After Florida Blastoff

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Posted June 29, 2015

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship loaded with critical supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) were destroyed by a catastrophic explosion starting approximately 148 seconds after a successful blastoff yesterday, June 28, From Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:21 a.m. EDT.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes about 2 minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral on June 28, 2015. Credit: Ken Kremer

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes about 2 minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral on June 28, 2015. Credit: Ken Kremer

“Eastern Range confirms the Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicle broke up,” according to the USAF Eastern Range, 45th Space Wing as the vehicle was in flight and the first stage was firing.

The failure was immediately obvious to all of us watching the launch live on site when the rocket disappeared into a expanding white cloud that was totally abnormal. See my launch and explosion photos herein.

“At this point, it’s not clear to the launch team exactly what happened,” NASA Launch Commentator George Diller reported on the live NASA TV broadcast.

It was the third launch failure of a cargo delivery run to the space station in the past half year -including both American and Russian rockets.

The Falcon 9 stopped ascending and broke apart and an abnormal vapor streak formed ahead of the rockets planned ascent path to orbit.

Within moments falling debris was visible in eyewitness photos from multiple angles.

“Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown. Will provide more info as soon as we review the data,” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk soon after the explosion.

Source: Universe Today, written by Ken Kremer

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