Space Invaders

‘Rockets Are Tricky,’ Elon Musk Tweets After SpaceX Test Rocket Explodes Midair

A slight understatement.
A photo of the explosion, posted to Twitter by an eyewitness. (Photo via twitter.com/ethansmomy17)

A photo of the explosion, posted to Twitter by an eyewitness. (Photo via twitter.com/ethansmomy17)

If you’ve been counting on Elon Musk to perfect space travel soon so that you can blast off into the cosmos and never have to look at Twitter again, we’ve got bad news: you’re going to have to wait a little longer.

See, Mr. Musk’s SpaceX tested a rocket Friday and it kind of exploded after takeoff. From Fast Company:

A successor to SpaceX’s Grasshopper prototype, the three-engine version of the F9R test rocket detected an anomaly and automatically terminated the mission. The company said there were no injuries, and a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration was present throughout the flight.

“With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program,” the Hawthorne, California company said in a statement. “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.”

Mr. Musk at least had a sense of humor about it:

We can cut him a break just this once, though. We’ve heard the whole “rocket science” thing is pretty tough.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com