Video: SpaceX Rocket Explodes over Texas

SpaceX_F9R

An experimental reusable rocket made by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. exploded over Texas on Friday, the company announced.

The test booster, known as the F9R and a successor to the Grasshopper rocket, self-destructed several hundred feet over the company’s facility in McGregor after a problem was detected. There were no injuries.

“Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted. “No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky.”

The local news broadcaster KWTX captured this video of the explosion:

SpaceX is based outside Los Angeles in Hawthorne, California, and has more than 3,000 employees, including 250 workers at a rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.

In addition to its NASA and commercial business, the company is seeking to break into the military launch market dominated by United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. The company is trying to develop reusable rockets to lower launch costs.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Captain Obvious

    Figures a rocket company would self detonate their own product in order to extract more money from the federal government.

    • KnownKnowns

      First, it blew itself up automatically as a safety feature to protect people on the ground. Second, this is part of SpaceX’s private research into reusable rockets and the government hasn’t paid a penny for any of it.

      • John Deere

        This isn’t “private research”, it is funded by the US taxpayer.

    • Bruce

      Captain Oblivious may be a more appropriate username in this case. *chuckle*

  • earwig42

    It seems that Elon Musk thinks the taxpayer should fund all his wishes whims and desires..

    Google Elon Musk government subsidies.

    I pay my taxes so that he can get richer? That’s not right.

  • Mitch S.

    Musk’s ego can hit a nerve at times but it has to be said that Space-X is no Solyndra.
    Space-X has a record of successful launches including resupplying ISS, something that NASA cannot do at any price, and will not be able to do for what Space-X charges.

    • Curt

      Well, actually since NASA pays for Space-X to do the resupply mission, technically they can do it for exactly what Space-X charges.

  • tinker

    Folks:

    Misguided ‘conservatives ‘ wouldn’t know a gift-horse if it slapped it’s tail across their face. Elon Musk is handing America an entire space program on a silver platter (including the colonization of Mars on American built rockets). He’s a true capitalist too, fully intending to make a ton of cash along the way. Companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have been sucking at the government teat for decades without regard of making America great or first at anything. All they care about is corporate self-survival and nothing else.

    It’s such a shame that Tea Partly rhetoric has twisted conservatism into selfish, single minded, self-serving moaning about “my taxpayer dollars”. Read some history about the great things conservative governments have done in America. You’ll go “What? They must have been Democrats!”. But they weren’t! The Democrats have picked up what used to be conservative agenda because Conservatives dropped those agendas because of the libertarian Tea Party usurpers that have infected the Republican Party.

    The smart money is on Elon Musk, democrats and true conservatives both agree on this!

    tinker

  • anton

    This was a good test wich worked as wanted!!

  • its not the grasshopper that rocket has been retired for a year this rocket is called the Falcon 9r

  • RunningBear

    The Falcon F9R Dev1 looked a little high and climbing for McGregor (0.47 mi./ 2493.438 ft. (760-meter) ceiling the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed for launches from SpaceX’s rocket test site in McGregor, Texas).

    It might have passed thru the “hover mode”?

    Good Luck SpaceX :-)

  • NotReallyHere

    Well there is always F9R Dev2, for NM.

  • Rne

    Conservatives did this, liberals did that, or they didn’t. Both sides want to one up over the other in this issue and most every other. The way to success is work together to further the betterment of America. We screw around to blame the other side while China beats us to the finish line. I don’t care who does it or where they’re from, I just want to see us (US) be the best. We need it to survive the onslaught of our enemies.

  • Axe

    I’m sure the ULA-Russia monopoly and its paid US congressmen are celebrating this Spacex failure. Every REAL American should support Spacex for what they are doing. Republican or Democrat; they are revolutionizing space travel with US-made rockets. This is the reason we test..to find failures.

    • Dfens

      Their celebration could only be muted by the fact that they aren’t even attempting to do anything remotely like building a rocket first stage that can land itself back on solid ground to be refueled and relaunched.

  • jsallison

    Failure? It’s rocket science, and rockets blow up. Better to do it now in testing than have it cost us 6/7 lives a pop in operations as a certain governmental cost plus program did, twice.

  • ROFLMAO

    Darn, the US is surely on its way to colonizing Mars by 2025.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • ROFLMAO

      SpaceX had better change its business to shooting X-rated movies in space. It’s far cheaper, far more doable and profitable than working on some BS rockets that is going nowhere.

    • sed

      Colonizing Mars by 2025? What’s the name of the bonehead who said it? They can’t land a man on the moon by 2025.

  • Patriot

    It’s sad how much ignorance is fostered in this country by both an uneducated and educated citizenry. KnownKnowns and tinker get it (and some others) Some posters I am surprised can read.

  • RRBunn

    Space-X is doing well. The engineering they have done is on par with what NASA did in the 1960’s. For REAL conservatives, this is private industry with all of the competition and benefits. For those who take the risks there may be rewards. Capitalism! If your problem is the Government space program, that is a different issue. the Tea Party says our Government needs to be minimized, but it is up to the PEOPLE to decide what they want their Government to do. That regardless of your political leanings is democracy.