Elon Musk: Astronauts would have survived blast

Explosion during SpaceX launch pad during Cape Canaveral

Had there been astronauts aboard a SpaceX rocket that exploded on Thursday, they would have been usually fine, says CEO Elon Musk.

That’s since a Dragon space capsule, that SpaceX skeleton to use for manned flights as shortly as subsequent year, has 8 shun rockets built into a walls designed to lift astronauts out of harm’s approach if a Falcon rocket next it is destroyed.

The shun rocket system, that is designed to glow usually in box of an emergency, was successfully tested it in May of final year. The Dragon plug shot into a air, divided from a launch pad, and splashed down in a sea about a mile off seaside during a test.

“Dragon would have been fine” Musk pronounced on Twitter.

But this week a Falcon 9 rocket was rising a satellite into orbit, instead of promulgation astronauts into space in a Dragon space capsule. And a according to a video from, a Amos-6 satellite that was on tip a Falcon 9 rocket fell to a belligerent until about 9 seconds after a initial fireball engulfed a Falcon.

That would have been adequate time for a Dragon’s shun rockets to lift a plug to safety. The rockets can launch a plug 100 meters divided from a rocket in usually dual seconds, and a half-kilometer divided within 5 seconds.

The Dragon would usually be versed with shun rockets in a eventuality it is transporting astronauts. The plug doesn’t have them for ISS supply missions to a International Space Station, and conjunction do unmanned satellites.

But there are questions as to because a Amos-6 satellite was even trustworthy to a Falcon 9 rocket during a engine exam Thursday.

For instance, French satellite association Eutelsat requires SpaceX to control engine tests but a satellite attached, mouthpiece Vanessa O’Connor told CNNMoney on Friday. But while Eutelsat and Facebook (FB, Tech30) had together rented space on Amos-6, it was owned by an Israeli company, Spacecom. So Eutelsat’s process did not apply. Spacecom declined to criticism on a engine exam policy.

Related: Why Facebook was rising a satellite into space

Other space experts contend there are also risks to watchful until after an engine exam to put a satellite in place on tip of a rocket. And explosions during tests are singular adequate that a satellites are mostly in place during such tests.

“There’s zero surprising about this [incident] other than that there was a explosion,” pronounced Marco Caceres, executive of space studies during a Teal Group.

A orator for during slightest one satellite association that uses SpaceX, who spoke on condition his association not be identified, pronounced it’s reconsidering either a payloads should be atop rockets during engine tests in a future, in light of Thursday’s events.

SpaceX declined to criticism on a use of using engine tests with a satellite already attached.

In a same twitter in that Musk asserted that astronauts would be saved from Falcon’s drop on Thursday, he also denied that a blast that broken a rocket and a satellite was an explosion. Instead, he argued that it was a “fast fire.” On Thursday, SpaceX referred to a even as an “anomaly.”

But according to an blast is “a aroused enlargement or ripping with noise.” That positively describes a events during Cape Canaveral early Thursday.

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