SpaceX Rocket Explodes in Central Texas

HOUSTON, Texas -- A SpaceX rocket exploded over Texas on Friday when its self-destruct system was triggered for unknown reasons. The incident occurred just after takeoff at the company's development facility located in McGregor.

SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rocket was involved in the failed test launch, according to the New York Daily News

The company reportedly said in a statement, "Earlier today, in McGregor, Texas, SpaceX conducted a test flight of a three-engine version of the F9R test vehicle (successor to Grasshopper). During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission. Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times."

CBS reported that the explosion marks the first failure in SpaceX's test program. 

The commercial launch company's statement continued, "With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today's test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test."

SpaceX is attempting to perfect the practice of reusing rockets, which could ultimately lower the cost of each flight. 

The mishap happened shortly after SpaceX announced plans to build a commercial launch pad control center in Texas near Boca Chica Beach. 

Breitbart Texas previously reported that the new center will bring 300 new jobs to the state. SpaceX will conduct 12 commercial launches per year at the new location, according to the Brownsville Herald

The land on which the compoany will build is immense. SpaceX already owns 90 parcels in the area, covering 34 acres. The  Valley Morning Star reported that the area is a mere three miles north of Mexico. 

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.


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