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SpaceX Rocket Detonates After 'Anomaly' During Test Flight in Texas

A SpaceX prototype rocket automatically detonated Friday after an "anomaly" during a flight over McGregor, Texas, the company said.
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A SpaceX prototype rocket automatically detonated after an "anomaly" was detected during a test flight Friday in McGregor, Texas, the company told NBC News on Friday night. No one was injured.

John Taylor, a spokesman for SpaceX, said the rocket was a three-engine version of the F9R test vehicle, the successor to the company's Grasshopper, a prototype intended to pave the way for fully reusable rockets that would fly themselves back home. It's similar to the Falcon 9, which SpaceX uses to launch unmanned cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

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"During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission," Taylor said in an email to NBC News. A representative of the Federal Aviation Administration was present, he said.



— M. Alex Johnson