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In a test flight today of SpaceX’s Falcon 9R vertical take off and landing rocket the rocket was destroyed when ground controllers detected an “anomaly.”
Falcon 9R is a three engine version of the Falcon 9 first stage, designed to test designs for making that first stage capable of landing vertically. It has flown successfully a number of previous times, but this time it appears something was not quite right during the flight and ground controllers had to destroy it for safety reasons.
Is this a set back? Of course. Is it a failure? Not really, as it was a test flight of very cutting edge technology and even failures will teach you something to improve the engineering.