Monday, June 29, 2015

Houston, We Have an Anomaly

SpaceX is one of Elon Musk's companies and - according at least to what I have read - passions. Musk, whose bank account is almost as large as his IQ, has a contract with NASA (SpaceX does I should say) to resupply the International Space Station. SpaceX also has a contract with NASA to develop a capsule that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station.
Yesterday morning, the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its destination? The space station. However, slightly more than two minutes and thirteen seconds into flight - at an altitude of approximately thirty-two kilometers - the rocket blew up. Its 4,000+ pounds of food and supplies for the space station reduced to tiny debris particles in a matter of a few seconds. Thankfully as it is still 2015 and not yet 2017, no lives were lost. The Falcon 9 Rocket was unmanned.
I understand completely that such catastrophic events occur in the space business. I was a freshman at the University of Colorado, Boulder when Astronaut and fellow Buff Ellison S. Onizuka was killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. I also understand that when something occurs for which no one has a good explanation, being the person called upon to say something - anything - to the waiting world can be a daunting task.
However, the official SpaceX Tweet in response to what occurred on Sunday morning, which was sent out not too long after the incident occurred struck me - and perhaps me alone - as being too cute by half. "An anomaly on ascent". Really? Their gadget blew into a gazillion fucking little pieces. If that is what SpaceX considers "an anomaly" I sincerely hope that none of us lives long enough to see SpaceX have to respond to something even they would consider to be a problem.

-AK

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