SpaceX blast threatens to leave NASA in a bind


A remodeled version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully lifted off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in December, 2015. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a test on September 1.

The explosion of a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rocket during ground tests last week has added urgency to a key question for NASA: When will U.S. spacecraft be ready once again to carry astronauts into orbit?

The accident involving billionaire Elon Musk’s company turned its roughly 15-story-tall Falcon 9 rocket into a fireball, destroyed a commercial satellite on board and damaged the launchpad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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