SpaceX’s Elon Musk: Fireball poses huge puzzle

Image: SpaceX blast
A video stream from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida shows smoke rising from a SpaceX launch pad blast. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, says the launch-pad explosion that resulted in the loss of a Falcon 9 rocket and its satellite payload last week stands as the most puzzling failure he’s faced since he started up the company.

In a series of post-midnight tweets, Musk said it’s possible that something hit the rocket to cause the fireball.

He put out the call for any recordings of the event – and said he was particularly interested in an explosive sound that preceded the main fireball by just a few seconds. “May come from rocket or something else,” he wrote.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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