Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Self-Destruct Signal Was Sent To SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

Image Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - A self-destruct command was sent from the ground to the ill-fated SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that exploded minutes after launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The first indication to the public that a self-destruct command had been sent by the Eastern Range safety officers came from NASA Launch Commentator, George Diller, who said just seconds after the Falcon 9 rocket exploded off of Florida's Space Coast during his live broadcast:

"We are trying to correlate the timelines between the last data that we got from the vehicle, which was a 2 minutes and 19 seconds, and correlate that with whatever the range safety officer was required to do with his actions as far as the flight termination systems. So that is still part of the data that is being pieced together."

During a NASA press conference following the CRS-7 mission failure on Sunday, NBC affiliate WESH 2 Space Reporter, Dan Billow, asked if a self destruct transmission had be sent from the ground.  However, the question could not be immediately answered by the press conference panelists.

In a later follow up to the question, the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing made the following statement to Dan Billow which he later posted on Twitter:

"During the launch, prior to the first stage shut-off, the Falcon 9 experienced an anomaly and catastrophic failure. Following the breakup of the Falcon 9 vehicle, 45th Space Wing Mission Flight Control Officers sent command destruct functions in accordance with Air Force policy and procedures to ensure public safety."


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