Massive explosion sends SpaceX scrambling

Massive explosion sends SpaceX scrambling

Elon Musk’s brainchild is struggling after a huge explosion at a launch pad in Florida with a Falcon 9 rocket.

The recent explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket severely damaged SpaceX’s launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., but the company says not to worry: it can keep launching rockets from its two other launch sites in California and a second on in Cape Canaveral, the company said in a statement. But it won’t be quite that simple.

The regular flight schedule has been impacted by the incident, the company acknowledges, as the launch pad in California is only able to support certain types of missions, and the Florida pad still has a ways to go before it can support launches.

SpaceX is in the midst of assessing what it will take to return the site to normal after the damage, and the company isn’t yet sure of the scope of the damage.

The launch pad in California can only launch rockets that are going to polar orbits, because then it travels over the ocean and isn’t a threat to anyone on land. But in order to get to the ISS, the rockets would have to launch toward the east, meaning they would have to fly over land and if something goes wrong, it would result in potential disaster on the ground below.

“We deeply regret the loss of AMOS-6, and safely and reliably returning to flight to meet the demands of our customers is our chief priority,” SpaceX said in a statement. “SpaceX’s business is robust, with approximately 70 missions on our manifest worth over $10 billion. In the aftermath of yesterday’s events, we are grateful for the continued support and unwavering confidence that our commercial customers as well as NASA and the United States Air Force have placed in us.”

from Department of Private Space Inc.