Updated 02:44 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 22, 2021

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explosion Won't Delay 3 More Astronauts Headed to International Space Station

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Though sad about the accident involving an unmanned SpaceX rocket on Sunday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) promised to the press that they would continue with International Space Station (ISS) operations.

USA Today revealed on Monday that NASA would still press on despite having a third resupply mission fail during the course of eight months in the form of the SpaceX Falcon 9.

In fact, Charles Bolden, NASA's administrator, considers the incident a minor setback and a reminder of the challenge they constantly face to achieve their long-term goal of sending more people to the ISS in the future.

"This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback," he explained, emphasizing that Sunday's launch attempt would not dissuade NASA from its "ambitious human spaceflight program."

For those who haven't heard of it yet, a rocket that was launched at 10:21 a.m. ET exploded exactly two minutes and 19 seconds from blastoff at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

This 208-foot-tall rocket is supposed to deliver 5,000 pounds of supplies contained in a Dragon capsule. The cargo blown to smithereens on Sunday, including a docking ring which was supposed to be used in the future by two U.S. crew vehicles, Boeing's CST-100 and SpaceX's Dragon.

According to Reuters, the Falcon 9 had already flown 18 times in the past without fail and made six station cargo deliveries for NASA since it first took to the skies in 2010.

SpaceX is now leading an investigation on the incident which, says SpaceX owner Elon Musk via Twitter, was due to "an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank," adding that the information they have based on preliminary assessment suggests a "counterintuitive cause."

Meanwhile, NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier revealed in a statement cited by Reuters how the incident affected the space agency, saying that there were plenty of research equipment lost in the flight.

On the other hand, the International Space Station crew composed of an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts do not have immediate worries in terms of their supplies since they are well stocked for up to four months as of a recent report from CBS News.

However, the news bureau noted that it still unclear how long the ISS can support its crew with the available cargo on hand.

"The crew has enough supplies, including research, to continue to work for somewhere between four and six months. So the decision we'd have to make is, how quickly can SpaceX get back up? And then what can we do with our Russian colleagues with regard to any support they might supply?" space station program manager Mike Suffredini explained.

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