SpaceX Explosion a Stark Reminder of Spaceflight's Risks
The event is a blow for the commercial spaceflight company, but it's par for the course in the long history of rocket-powered exploration.
An explosion rocked SpaceX’s launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Thursday—destroying one of the aerospace company’s rockets and the Israeli communications satellite it was scheduled to launch on Saturday.
The blast occurred at about 9:07 a.m. local time at launch complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a military installation east of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Eyewitnesses reported clouds of dark smoke and thunderous booms that could be felt for miles.
Because the rocket was a commercial SpaceX vehicle on an Air Force launchpad, NASA does not have any direct information on the incident, says Kennedy Space Center public affairs officer Stephanie Martin.
“Kennedy Space Center Emergency Operations Center personnel are monitoring the situation and are standing by to assist