But whatever went wrong in the second stage of the rocket as it flew some 5,000 kilometers per hour will need to be identified and fixed before it can fly again. The company’s founder and chief rocket designer, Elon Musk, tweeted on the day of the accident that the company was examining an “overpressure event” in a liquid oxygen tank used to fuel the second-stage engine, but no further details have emerged.

Beyond assessing the flight data and any debris that can be recovered, teams are assembling to review every aspect of the vehicle’s construction and delivery to the launch site. SpaceX officials say they are hopeful their largely in-house manufacturing process will allow them to surface the problem quickly.

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