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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes Shortly After Launch

Photo: NASA TV

Updated: 2:27p

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station exploded shortly after takeoff.

About two minutes into the flight SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said there was an anomaly “shortly before first stage shutdown.”

“There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank,” said Musk. SpaceX continues to look into the cause.

The Federal Aviation Administration is calling the incident a ‘mishap.’ SpaceX will lead the investigation into the explosion, with the FAA’s oversight.

NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier  doesn’t think the explosion will impact any future missions.

“The problem with this shows the challenges that we have facing engineering and the challenges of spaceflight in general. The teams will work through this, we’ll learn from these events, and I think we’ll get stronger from these events,” said Gerstenmair at a press conference Sunday.

International Space Station Mission Manager Mike Suffredini said the astronauts have enough food and supplies to last until late October.

Also on board was a docking adapter to be used for future commercial crew programs. NASA officials say there is a second adapter that will be launch on a future mission.

SpaceX was attempting to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a barge. If successful, reusing the booster could significantly reduce the cost of spaceflight.

View video of today’s launch. Via: SpaceX

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »