A SpaceX rocket blew up over Texas in mid-flight during a test

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A SpaceX F9R rocket exploded during a test over Texas today after an anomaly was detected. The rocket’s software automatically blew up the ship, preventing it from leaving the test area. “Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test,” a SpaceX statement read. “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.”

A new test rocket manufactured by Elon Musk’s upstart space company, SpaceX, blew itself up a few hundred feet over the Texas prairie after a malfunction was detected, the company said in a statement Friday evening. At its facility in McGregor, Tex., the company was testing a three-engine version of the F9R test vehicle, the successor to its re­usable Grasshopper rocket, which was designed to launch and then land on the same site. “During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission,” company spokesman John Taylor said in the statement. The rocket never veered off course, and there were no injuries or near injuries, the statement said. A representative from the Federal Aviation Administration was on site during the test flight. The company stressed that rooting out problems like the one exposed in the flight is the purpose of the test program and said Friday’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.”

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