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Thoughts on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explosion

So I was reading on how Falcon 9 rocket exploded during testing, destroying not just the rocket itself but Facebook’s Amos-6 satellite. Thank God nobody got injured in the blast.

Such incidents are quite graphic reminders of the huge risks that come with working on such projects. It’s quite representative of the nature of humans; how people would spend millions to push the frontiers of science and satiate their curiosity. Think of James Cameron going to the deepest known point on Earth in the Deepsea Challenger, and the Curiosity rover desolately playing the role of Sole Scientist on Mars, investigating Martian climate and geology. The monetary value of everything that blew up comes up to around 260 million $, and Facebook was trying to bring affordable access to selected Internet services to less developed countries through its project on AMOS-6.

Now of course, this is Facebook and SpaceX and it’s easy to assume with their deep pockets, this disaster is just a drop in their ocean money-wise, but think of how devastating it must be for the people who’ve spent so much time working on this project. So to anybody who’s got a vested interest in the project, as an engineer I’m sending my heartfelt condolences. I hope everyone takes the chance to learn from the mistakes that lead to this disaster, and I hope it doesn’t deter you from continuing to do crazy things that would continue to change the face of science.

Image from the Business Insider article

Published inEngineering