(TL/JB) The owner of SpaceX, with which SES is to launch a satellite at the end of the year, has appealed for help on Twitter after the project was set back by an explosion on the launchpad.
“Support & advice from @NASA, @FAA, @AFPAA & others much appreciated. Please email any recordings of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org“ Elon Musk tweeted Friday morning.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on September 1 on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida during a test, destroying it and its payload, an Israeli satellite which Mark Zuckerberg wanted to use to expand Facebook to Africa.
Seven minutes after his first tweet, Musk added he wanted to understand what caused the “quieter bang sounds a few seconds before the fireball” went off. “May come from a rocket or something else,” he suggested.
In a separate tweet, the entrepreneur and developer of low-cost space travel called the incident “the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years”.
Director General of the United Launch Alliance Tory Bruno said the explosion could put back future launches by up to 12 months.