Elon Musk, the SpaceX founder, says last week’s explosion of the Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida, days before a scheduled launch, is “turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.”
SpaceX had called the Sept. 1 explosion “an anomaly on the pad.” The crewless rocket was due to launch a satellite last weekend, and exploded during what Musk called a “propellant fill operation.”
Early Friday, Musk offered more details about the ongoing investigation into what caused the rocket to explode.
Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2016
Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off. May come from rocket or something else.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2016
When asked on Twitter about videos on YouTube that appeared to suggest something had hit the rocket, Musk replied, “We have not ruled that out.”
The destroyed Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to take a satellite into orbit that Facebook planned to use to bring internet access to parts of the world where it is limited.