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Yesterday was a bad day for launching rockets into space

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on its debut launch from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida June 4, 2010. SpaceX is selling its Falcon 9 rockets, which can carry 12 tonnes to an orbit about 225 miles (360 km) above Earth, for about $50 million -- less than half what is typically charged for rides on similar U.S. rockets. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCI TECH TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - RTR2ERPO
Reuters/Scott Audette
It’s called the final frontier for a reason.
By Kabir Chibber
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

On Aug. 22, an unmanned rocket launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company exploded after an “anomaly” was discovered during a test flight in McGregor, Texas. Check it out here:

SpaceX said that finding such an anomaly (which in this case triggered a self-destruct mechanism) is precisely the point of tests such as this one. “Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test,” a spokesperson told The Verge.

Separately on the same day, a much better-funded organization had problems of its own. The European Space Agency said two satellites launched for the continent’s version of GPS tracking, Doresa and Milena, did not reach as high an orbit as expected. The system is called Galileo, and it is a 7-billion-euro project to launch 26 satellites into space by 2017 to work alongside the US’s GPS and the Russian Glonass systems for European companies. Here is the launch:

All of which goes to show that, despite the technological leaps and major steps made recently in the field of commercial space technology, no one said launching rockets into space was easy.

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