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SpaceX ship failure is the most expensive explosion you’ll see all week

On 28 June at 10:21 local time, around 1,814 kilograms of food, camera equipment and scientific gadgetry rained out of the perfectly blue skies above Florida - ruining the birthday of one Elon Musk.

The cause of the expensive downpour? The explosion of a SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station, shown in all its terror above.

Two minutes into the unmanned ship's flight, the private company's Falcon 9 rocket broke apart, erupting in a white cloud of burning fuel and debris. Moments later, CEO Musk took to Twitter to explain what had gone wrong (to anyone with an understanding of rocket science).

Amongst the lost cargo were high resolution cameras set to study passing meteors, equipment for studying the life of microbes aboard the ISS, and food and fuel for the station's crew (don't worry, they've got enough stored to see them through until October, with the next supply run due for 3 July). 

The failure of the rocket was a literal blow to SpaceX's hopes of furthering their mission for reusable rocket technology: had the Falcon 9 made it to space, its first section was due to land aboard the company's "autonomous spaceport drone ship". SpaceX has a $1.6 billion (£1bn) NASA contract to fly at least 12 unmanned supply runs to the space station, with the failed launch the seventh mission. All previous six flights were successful.

If the next resupply mission set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 3 July also fail, things could get a touch more nervy aboard the ISS. We can practically hear the Hollywood script writers penning their storylines should the unthinkable happen.

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