SpaceX Rocket Self-Detonates at Texas Test Facility (VIDEO)

Aug 23, 2014 09:03 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

A SpaceX F9R test rocket exploded in midair on August 22, during a flight test conducted at the company's facility in McGregor, Texas, officials confirmed.

McGregor fire chief Moe Spradley confirmed the SpaceX rocket explosion, saying that firefighters reached the scene to extinguish its wreckage, according to a report by the Waco Tribune-Herald.

SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said in a statement that the rocket "automatically terminated" after experiencing an "anomaly."

"Earlier today, in McGregor, Texas, SpaceX conducted a test flight of a three engine version of the F9R test vehicle (successor to Grasshopper). During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission," the statement said.

"Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FFA representative was present at all times," the statement added. SpaceX said that it would "provide another update when the flight data has been fully analyzed."

The SpaceX rocket explosion took place months after the U.S. Air Force confirmed that it would not certify the company for Pentagon contracts.

Air Force officials cited concerns with issues experienced by SpaceX aircraft on three previous missions in a letter to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of the House Armed Services Committee.

SpaceX plans to develop a reusable rocket that is able to facilitate a roundtrip to the moon and, eventually, to Mars.

Last month, company president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said that her goal is for SpaceX to become the "most widely used space transport company in the, let's call it the solar system" by 2100.

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