SpaceX CRS-7 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:21 a.m. EDT today, on the company’s seventh resupply mission to the International Space Station. At roughly 139 seconds after launch, the Falcon 9 rocket experienced an anomaly which resulted in the loss of the vehicle.
Prior to launch, the SpaceX team was not tracking any issues. SpaceX will lead the accident investigation with support from NASA and oversight from the Federal Aviation Administration which issued the launch license. SpaceX will return to launching cargo to the space station as soon as it is safely possible. Initial data points to a potential issue with the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.
The Expedition 44 crew aboard the station remain in good shape in terms of supplies with adequate levels until at least October even without the upcoming Progress launch. Significant vehicle and research hardware was lost, including the first of two International Docking Adapters, but NASA will work to replace these items on future cargo flights. There is no immediate impact to station operations.
The next cargo launch to the space station is scheduled to take place at 12:55 a.m. Friday, July 3, with the Russian Progress 60P vehicle planned to deliver several tons of food and supplies to the station crew. Today’s events are not expected to impact the launch of the next station crew on July 22.
For residents near the launch zone, if you spot debris in the water or see it washed up anywhere along the Eastern Florida shore report it to either NASA’s debris reporting hotline at 321-867-2121 or Patrick Air Force Base at 321-494-7001 or contact your nearest local law enforcement official.
Managers from SpaceX, NASA and the FAA discussed the SpaceX rocket anomaly Sunday afternoon. Clockwise from top left: Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Operating Officer, SpaceX; Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations for NASA; Mike Suffredini, International Space Station Program Manager for NASA; Pam Underwood, Deputy Division Manager, FAA Operations Integration Division.