SpaceX rocket explodes during test flight in Texas

August 23, 2014 2:02 AM

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A reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket used to test landing systems the company hopes to incorporate on future operational launch vehicles exploded shortly after liftoff Friday at the company's 900-acre McGregor, Texas, flight facility, officials said.

The uncrewed rocket stage, a successor to SpaceX's original "Grasshopper" vertical-takeoff-and-landing test vehicle, was destroyed when its self-destruct system was triggered in the wake of an unexplained malfunction.

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