SpaceX’s CRS-7 explodes in midair shortly after its liftoff, rendering another supply mission to the ISS in failure. Launched from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:21 am EDT, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, the unmanned Dragon Cargo ship was declared clear by the SpaceX launch control with no problems and the weather was declared good as well. But the Falcon 9 experienced some difficulties just after 2 min and 18 sec into the flight and broke up over the Atlantic Ocean.
With the cause of the incident still under investigation, range safety officers are evaluating available data according to the statement provided by the US Air Force 45th Space wing. According to the SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, the telemetry indicated overpressure in an upper stage oxygen tank but this was not what caused the failure, He tweeted.
4000 lb (1814 kg) of supplies were being carried out by the unmanned SpaceX cargo ship. This cargo included supplies for the ISS as well as materials required for scientific experiments and adapter modules that were to help in docking next generation of spacecraft at the station.
This is the third resupply mission to the ISS to fail in less than a year, though the failure is not a cause for immediate concern, but the loss of cargo is worrying for the authorities. The last two failures were the Antares launch vehicle explosion and the Russian Progress 59 cargo ship. The CRS-7 was supposed to be some compensation for those losses. But after its failure, there are questions arising about the future of the station as this could lead to shortage of the crew aboard the ISS or it being abandoned altogether.
The Progress 60P mission is supposed to be the next resupply mission to liftoff on July 3 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.