SpaceX Statement on McGregor Rocket Explosion

An official statement from SpaceX:

Earlier today, in McGregor, Texas, SpaceX conducted a test flight of a three engine version of the F9R test vehicle (successor to Grasshopper). During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission.

Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times.

With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. 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.

SpaceX will provide another update when the flight data has been fully analyzed.

  • Paul_Scutts

    Every rocket manufacturer has and will have their spectacular failures. Hopefully, SpaceX will quickly identify the glitch and have it rectified.

  • Vladislaw

    Glad it was just a test article, they are really pushing the envelope.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Well, on the long list of things to test, they can check off: Flight Termination System.

  • Robert Mule

    I’m guessing it achieved sentience and
    attempted to escape into the great blue yonder. Thank god for
    auto-distruct restraining bolts.

  • windbourne

    I think that Musk would agree with you.

  • J Michael Antoniewicz II

    If they get good data back (onboard video would be the cherry on top) then they earned a A+ on this flight.

  • Hug Doug

    a great deal of buzz has been going about the hexacopter’s video…

  • Dennis

    If the Hexa wasn’t destroyed that is… a boom like that could easily knock it out of the sky I guess. Do we know if it was?

  • ‮‮‮

    I just hope they didn’t install a sensor upside down.

  • Hug Doug

    not yet. i suspect it will be some time before any such video is released to the public, as the SpaceX engineers will want to go over it with a fine toothed comb

  • Michael J. Listner

    It’s called the learning process.

  • Wayne Martin


    Absolutely LOL!

  • Wayne Martin

    SpaceX has A Lot going on right now especially in regards to their very own private launch facility in south Texas which will include all of the range operations that the Air Force typically does!

    This would include what I heard Elon discussing or the automated self destruct sequence which has been my understanding that a human always had their finger on that button…

    In my mind this is definitely just SpaceX getting the getting the Biggest BANG for their buck!

    They never just test one thing and I am sure there was way more going on than just the resusibility of the Falcon 9 being tested hear!

  • Wayne Martin

    This would be some Incredibly Spectacular Video!!!

  • Vladislaw

    This was a comment by Gwynne Shotwell during a Q&A for a Popular Mechanics article.

    “The tests are going beautifully, which fundamentally means we’re not pushing the envelope hard enough. We should have some failures with Grasshopper. We need to push harder. I think we’re a year away from being able to recover stages, then we’ll take a look at them and extrapolate how many missions each stage can undergo. I hope to be reflying them a year after that. Rapid reusability, maybe another year. So in total, two to three years from now.”

  • Dan

    If you aren’t breaking things then you aren’t finding the limits. That’s why it’s called testing.

  • windbourne

    Not bad considering that the last major failure was their first flight more than 8 years ago.