This past Friday, SpaceX launched an unmanned, reusable Falcon 9R rocket (the successor to the Grasshopper) in McGregor, Texas. The rocket self-destructed shortly into its ascent.
From a SpaceX Twitter post:
During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission.
Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times.
With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test.
Here’s one video of the launch. Riveting. Can’t help but be thankful this was an unmanned rocket.