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SpaceX explosion probed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – SpaceX is scouring computer and video data for clues to the devastating launch pad explosion that destroyed a rocket and satellite.

Thursday’s accident occurred during a prelaunch test, eight minutes before the engines on SpaceX’s Falcon rocket were supposed to briefly fire.

The rocket was being fueled when a huge fireball erupted. On Friday, SpaceX said it has begun reviewing 3,000 channels of computer and video data, covering a time period of just 35 to 55 milliseconds.

The trouble appears to have originated somewhere near the liquid oxygen tank in the upper stage. SpaceX said it’s unclear how badly the pad was damaged at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

But the company pointed out that it has two other pads, one at neighboring Kennedy Space Center that was formerly used to launch NASA’s shuttles, and another in California.

SpaceX said these two pads can support the company’s upcoming launches, until the damaged complex can be fixed. (AP)