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.