Dramatic Video Captures SpaceX Rocket Explosion at Launch Site

(Credit: Erin Head/Twitter) Erin Head posted this photo on Twitter with this caption:"Explosion at #spacex. Can't be good," Sept. 1, 2016.(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Dramatic footage of the moment that a SpaceX rocket exploded at a launch pad in Florida has surfaced.

The video, which was filmed by USLaunchReport and provided to ABC News, shows the doomed SpaceX Falcon rocket during the ill-fated fueling process.

All appears normal with the rocket, upright and connected to various ground infrastructure, before an explosion flashes from the top-third of the rocket, sending a ball of fire outward and raining flames down onto the tarmac.

In the first few seconds, the fireball explodes upward like a mushroom cloud while streams of fire shoot out from below.

Within about four seconds of the initial flash, the fireball -- which at this point has consumed and obscured the rocket and its million-dollar payload -- convulses outward with bulging deep orange flames and billowing black smoke.

Within about six seconds, the fireball reaches its peak, with black smoke beginning to overtake the flames, and the melting rocket remnants and an adjacent tower silhouetted against the diminishing fireball.

At about 10 seconds after the initial flash, as flames and black smoke continue consume the launch site, the cone-like rocket top appears, peeling off of support infrastructure and crashing to the ground. A second fireball emerges with a flash of yellow and flying debris.

Approximately 12 seconds after the flash, the first explosion can be heard -- a delay brought on by the fact that the video was apparently taken at a distance.

The first explosion sounds relatively muted, when compared to the second explosion heard four seconds later -- a violent crashing sound that is followed by rumble, which persists for more than 20 seconds and is interspersed with various smaller booms.

For several more minutes, a smaller fireball of orange flames and pitch-black smoke continues to burn where the rocket had stood.

A second large explosion rocks the site, about two-and-a-half minutes after the first explosion, just when the initial fireball began to die down and black smoke overtakes the site.

The explosion shoots upward from the ground with billowing orange and yellow mushroom-like clouds, traced by streaks of black smoke.

The fire continues raging for several minutes until the video ends.

The explosion occurs at approximately 1:10 in the video below.


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