Dear readers and followers,
In a Holmesian twist to the investigation of the sudden fireball that eviscerated a Falcon 9 rocket, a $95 million internet satellite, and a chunk of Cape Canaveral’s launch pad 40, a SpaceX employee recently requested rooftop access to a building owned by competing rocket consortium United Launch Alliance. As industry officials who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Washington Post, SpaceX was following up on “something suspicious” it had seen while reviewing video footage of the rocket explosion—a weird shadow and a white spot on the roof of the ULA building, which sits about a mile from the launch pad.
According to the Washington Post’s unnamed experts, SpaceX was denied access to the rooftop, which was instead investigated by Air Force officials who found no evidence of a connection to the September 1st explosion.
SpaceX’s official line—that it’s simply trying to leave no stone unturned—may well be true. But that hasn’t stopped the internet from offering up its own conspiracy theories, including that maybe a guy with a rifle shot the rocket from a mile away. (After all, Musk did say his company is trying to figure out the source of a “quieter bang sound” a few seconds before the fireball!)
Then again, as Elon Musk noted during his Martian colonization speechlast week, SpaceX has already investigated all obvious possibilities. “What remains are the less probable answers,” he said.
A ULA spokesperson responded to Gizmodo’s request for comment in an email, stating that “ULA cooperated with the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, and nothing associated with the SpaceX accident was found.”
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