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SpaceX Rocket Failure Highlights Challenges of Space Missions

“Space pioneer Elon Musk’s company suffered a major setback Sunday when its Falcon 9 rocket carrying an unmanned cargo capsule had a catastrophic failure, breaking up shortly after liftoff from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,” according to The Wall Street Journal .  

“It was the first launch failure of a Falcon 9, the flagship booster of closely held Space Exploration Technology Corp., or SpaceX, as Mr. Musk’s Southern California company is known… The Dragon capsule was filled with some 4,000 pounds of food and water-recycling equipment, experiments, a spare spacesuit and other cargo destined for the space station. Sunday’s failure follows the failed launch of a Russian cargo capsule in April. Orbital Sciences Corp., the only other U.S. company able to resupply the orbiting laboratory, is struggling to resume its flights after an earlier rocket failure of its own.”  

“Now, however, a joint SpaceX-Federal Aviation Administration investigation could take months to reach a conclusion, and fixes may take longer to implement. Meanwhile, all Falcon 9 flights are expected to be suspended.”