A spokesman for SpaceX said an “unscheduled rapid disassembly” is SpaceX code word for “It blew up”.
After 14 years of exploding vehicles, SpaceX blew up another one yesterday. At least this one didn’t have a crew and it didn’t blow up the launch site. There comes a point when you have to ask if there is a systemic problem associated with all of these failures. It’s not rocket science. NASA has been flying for over 60 years. They know what works and what doesn’t, and how to avoid them in the future.
It’s easy to say after a failure, and SpaceX did, that this was a successful flight (up until it blew up). Science includes learning from your mistakes, miscalculations, poor designs, and reckless development. In the early days of space flight there were accidents, the most notable, Apollo 1, which took the lives of three astronauts. It took 1.5 years to get back to flying after a complete analysis and modifications to the vehicle to prevent another similar accident. That was 60 ago.
Yes human space flight is risky. We know that. We’ve known it for over 60 years. It’s nothing new. Repeating the mistakes of the past is not science. Unfortunately NASA will not be in charge of the Root Cause Analysis and the mistakes and lessons learned will not be made public like the reports from NASA failures.