Mars-bound SpaceX rocket explodes over Texas

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

SpaceX factory
The SpaceX metal factory where the rockets are built.

Elon Musk, the risk-taking genius behind electric car company Tesla Motors, is aiming for Mars with his innovative SpaceX rockets. He’s been testing his Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rockets, which will revolutionize space exploration by saving millions of dollars normally lost on disposable rocket parts. Although he has successfully launched objects like commercial satellites into space with the Falcon tech, landing them safely back on Earth hasn’t been easy, and an F9R Mars mission launch test this past week ended in a fiery explosion over Texas!

The rocket self-destructed as a safety precaution less than 20 seconds after launch, sending burning debris down on an open field near McGregor city. SpaceX released a statement that no one was injured and that they’ll be looking at the flight data to figure out what happened. Although this may seem like a step backwards for Musk’s dreams of helping humanity build colonies on Mars and other planets, failures are a natural part of the experimental process.

Normally, American space rockets are designed to discard the majority of their parts in a low orbit around Earth, where they eventually burn up on the way down or fall harmlessly into the ocean. Musk’s F9R, however, is built to slowly return to Earth with booster engines and land safely on four legs. He’s working hard and fast to beat the competition, since Boeing, Blue Origin, and the Sierra Nevada Corp. are also developing safe and cost-effective ways to transport humans into the starry skies above.

Images courtesy of SpaceX.