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Breaking News
posted by janrinok on Thursday September 01 2016, @01:55PM   Printer-friendly

The BBC are reporting an explosion at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where SpaceX company was readying a rocket for launch.

The cause of the blast is not clear and it is not known if anyone was hurt. Nasa said SpaceX was test-firing a rocket which was due to take a satellite into space this weekend.

Pictures from the scene show a huge plume of smoke rising above the Cape Canaveral complex.

The force of the blast shook buildings several miles away.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Spacecom Seeks $50 Million or a Free Flight After SpaceX Rocket Explosion 18 comments

SpaceX will need to pay up for its destruction of an AMOS-6 satellite:

SpaceX may be on the hook to compensate Space Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) for the satellite that was destroyed during the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket — either with a free trip or $50 million, according to Reuters .

The construction, launch preparation and operation of the AMOS-6 satellite, which would have been used to "significantly expand the variety of communications services provided by Spacecom," reportedly cost the company more than $195 million. The officials from the company also noted that it could also collect upwards of $205 million from Israel Aircraft Industries, which built the satellite. SpaceX hasn't said what kind of insurance it purchased for the rocket, or what that insurance might pay for, Reuters reported. SpaceX wasn't immediately available for comment.

The failure of the launch may also kill a deal for Beijing Xinwei Technology Group to acquire Spacecom.


Original Submission

ULA Exec: SpaceX could be Grounded for 9-12 Months 12 comments

An executive from SpaceX's chief competitor, the United Launch Alliance (ULA), predicts that SpaceX won't conduct any more launches for the next 9 to 12 months, as it makes repairs and investigates the explosion of a Falcon 9 booster on Sept. 1:

"It typically takes nine to 12 months for people to return to flight. That's what the history is," Tory Bruno, chief executive of United Launch Alliance, told Reuters. [...] Bruno said the main issue after accidents involving space launches has "always been figuring out what went wrong on the rocket, being confident that you know ... how to fix it and then actually getting that fix in place." Repairing damage to the launch pad is usually not a significant issue, he said. "Historically, it had never been the pad that's taken the longest time," he said.

Bruno spoke with Reuters a few hours before ULA, a partnership of Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, was preparing to launch its 111th rocket, so far all successfully. An Atlas 5 rocket, carrying a NASA asteroid sample-return spacecraft, was poised for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida about 1.2 miles (2 km) away from the SpaceX launch site.[*]

Bruno said he called SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell shortly after the accident to extend sympathies and offer help. "It's a small community and issues especially around safety - but even mission success - kind of transcend the competitive piece of this," Bruno added.

ULA and SpaceX are rivals for private space missions and launches by U.S. government agencies. Musk's company in May broke ULA's monopoly on flying U.S. military and national security satellites, winning an $83 million Air Force contract to launch a Global Positioning System satellite in 2018. The two firms are expected to square off over a second satellite launch services bid, which closes on Sept. 19.

[*] See SoylentNews coverage: OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission - Launch Successful -Ed.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:02PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:02PM (#396166)

    News so hot we didn't have time to put punctuation on the end of the sentence!

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    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:25PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:25PM (#396175) Journal

      It's a fair cop...

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:37PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:37PM (#396308) Journal

      The news is so hot the Musky troll didn't have time to get first post.

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    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:29PM (#396393)

      Wonky, the jig is up. You logged into the wrong account to make your useless OCD nitpick. The tango account is now burned as known wonkey_monkey sockpuppet.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:06PM (#396167)

    This was sabotage.

    I'd slide my tinfoil hat on, but I have it stapled in place.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:33PM (#396208)

      One does wonder. Upset establishment aerospace probs a dangerous proposition

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:44PM (#396285)

      It was Russian hackers. Already confirmed by the Democrats, Republicans, FBI, NSA, CMT, CNN, and NBC. The Russians deny it; that's how you know they did it.

      Support your congressperson on their next bill to put reasonable limits on free speech, gun control, encryption, and dubstep to prevent this from happening, or next time it could be your children!

  • (Score: 2) by Snow on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:41PM

    by Snow (1601) on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:41PM (#396179) Journal

    I hope no one was hurt!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by iWantToKeepAnon on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:35PM

      by iWantToKeepAnon (686) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:35PM (#396209) Homepage Journal
      No one was, thankfully. NASA protocol had no one in the area when the static firing test was to be performed.
      --
      "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
      • (Score: 1) by Francis on Thursday September 01 2016, @08:43PM

        by Francis (5544) on Thursday September 01 2016, @08:43PM (#396370)

        Right, this is specifically why nobody is allowed anywhere near a rocket during testing or launch who isn't intending to be launched into space.

        I do wonder a bit about how much of the equipment on the ground is going to have to be replaced in addition to the rocket and payload.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:52PM (#396187)

    Witness the boom, bust cycle of private space exploration. Currently very much in the boom stage.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:24PM

      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:24PM (#396198)

      we need a "-1 horrible pun" mod. :P

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Subsentient on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:26PM

      by Subsentient (1111) on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:26PM (#396200) Homepage Journal

      I like you. I too, like making jokes about tragedy. It's not because I don't care, it's because it makes me and others feel a little better. :^)

      --
      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday September 01 2016, @04:22PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday September 01 2016, @04:22PM (#396236)

        They're like a big bright flash of light when dealing with a shocking event.

      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:46PM

        by edIII (791) on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:46PM (#396401)

        You know, that's just not very nice at all. I would suggest you read something about tragedy by O.J Simpson, it was quite moving and pertinent to your shameful behavior sir.

        You'll find it at ////\.com

        --
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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:29PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:29PM (#396204) Homepage Journal

    "SpaceX was getting the Falcon 9 ready to launch the Amos 6 satellite, a communications probe for the Israeli satellite operator Spacecom. The satellite was meant to provide internet to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa as part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative, and the social media company partnered with Eutelsat to lease the satellite from Spacecom."

    Hmmmmm -

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    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:52PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:52PM (#396219)

      I'm kind of glad that failed. I didn't realize they were going ahead with that. India put a stop to Facebook's locked down little plan.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:42PM (#396284)

        I agree--if no one was hurt, then I consider this to be a plus for humanity and a minus for the global panopticon.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:41PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:41PM (#396311) Journal

        Nasa said SpaceX was test-firing a rocket which was due to take a satellite into space this weekend.

        It said the rocket's payload, a communications satellite for Facebook due to launch on Saturday, was also destroyed.

        Experts said the Amos-6 satellite was valued at more than $200m (£150m).

        The launch wasn't for another two days? Couldn't they have put a dummy payload on the rocket if they wanted to test it?

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        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by captain_nifty on Thursday September 01 2016, @08:18PM

          by captain_nifty (4252) on Thursday September 01 2016, @08:18PM (#396362)

          When a rocket is "assembled" at the launch site it is a little more complicated and permanent than just plugging in some cables and strapping down the satellite. It is a process that takes weeks and involves semi permanent welded connections. After all of the work is done on the rocket is when they start checking literally everything including the main engine systems, like the failed test here. Putting a dummy load on for the test would just add more work on the rocket after the test to ready it for launch, increasing the chances of a problem occurring, or requiring a new test.

        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:27PM (#396392)

          The launch wasn't for another two days? Couldn't they have put a dummy payload on the rocket if they wanted to test it?

          They thought they did. But this explosion was no mere accident. This is the first public surfacing of the hidden battle between super-intelligent AIs. This was the Google AI moving to block the Facebook AI from gaining a skynet foothold. The Google AI manipulated the weaker Elon AI's worker systems to emplace the satellite instead the dummy payload so that it could destroy both the rocket and the satellite during a vulnerability window the Facebook AI had overlooked.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @10:07PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @10:07PM (#396413)

          They simply want u to believe it exploded and was destroyed. Its up there already.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @11:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @11:21PM (#396450)

      Coincidence detected.

      "SpaceX was getting the Falcon 9 ready to launch the Amos 6 satellite, a communications probe for the (((Israeli))) satellite operator (((Spacecom))). The satellite was meant to provide internet to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa as part of (((Facebook)))'s (((Internet.org))) initiative, and the social media company partnered with Eutelsat to lease the satellite from (((Spacecom)))."

  • (Score: 2) by julian on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:40PM

    by julian (6003) on Thursday September 01 2016, @03:40PM (#396212)

    SpaceX says "an anomaly on the pad" caused the explosion.

    Frog or bat this time?

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 01 2016, @04:02PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday September 01 2016, @04:02PM (#396226)

      Probably a pelican, or two.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @04:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @04:09PM (#396231)

      So Bevis and Butthead are responsible then. NASA must have hired Anderson.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:36PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:36PM (#396281)

      Curious if insurance will payout since the payload was destroyed on the pad prior to launch. The BBC clip was actually pretty good, imo. Though they didn't say what the anomaly was : /

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    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:49PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:49PM (#396312)

      A newt!

      --
      compiling...
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by cmdrklarg on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:18PM

    by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 01 2016, @06:18PM (#396300)
    The RUD is at about 1:11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BgJEXQkjNQ/ [youtube.com] Looks like a refueling accident to me.
    --
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  • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Friday September 02 2016, @03:44AM

    by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 02 2016, @03:44AM (#396543)

    Was this the flight-tested (aka "used") unit that blew up?

    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday September 02 2016, @04:33AM

      by tftp (806) on Friday September 02 2016, @04:33AM (#396549) Homepage

      Apparently not [spacenews.com]:

      PLYMOUTH, Mass.— Satellite fleet operator SES on Aug. 30 said its 5,000-kilogram SES-10 telecommunications satellite would be the first customer to launch on a reused SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage, with the launch to occur late this year.

      Though additional scrutiny is now guaranteed, no matter what stages are used. The explosion as such is not all that rare in space industry, especially among beginners. It's part of the learning curve.