The latest launch of the experimental SpaceX F9R rocket was destroyed by automatic controllers 70 seconds after launch due to a malfunction that was automatically detected during the early stages of the flight on Aug. 23, 2014, according to a report from CNN and numerous videos at Twitter. The debris fell in a field near McGregor, Texas and produced a small fire that was rapidly extinguished according to the Xinhau news agency in China. No injuries were reported. SpaceX plans to analyze the defect and adapt the rocket for further flights and a potential visit to Mars.
The F9R is a scaled down model of the Falcon 9 rocket that is the first privately manufactured space vehicle to deliver satellites into Earth orbit. Both rockets are designed to be reusable with a landing apparatus that is the first to prove vertical reentry and landing is possible. One of the many videos of the explosion can be seen here.
Billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted "Rockets are tricky" at the loss of the $54 million rocket. The incident may delay the planned launch of another F9R rocket launch planned later this year. The aborted launch had planned to push the limits of altitude of the F9R rocket.
Werner von Braun blew up a dozen experimental rockets in Huntsville, Alabama before he perfected the Saturn V that took man to the moon. Taxes paid for von Braun’s goofs. Von Braun also envisioned man on Mars like Elon Musk does. The F9R incident was nothing to compare with disasters like the Challenger explosion. Man may be on Mars in our lifetime because Elon Musk and other visionaries say that man will be on Mars.