You likely saw last week when SpaceX launched their new “Starship” rocket, which exploded minutes after launch. If you’ve not seen it, here is a video of it:
The odd part of the explosion is that it was actually a huge success. Granted, I’m sure they would have preferred that the flight lasted longer, but it was the largest rocket ever launched, and simply clearing the launch tower was a massive success — everything after that is just data that can help for next time.
Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station, explains further in this short interview:
As he mentions, the first F-14 and F-16 both crashed at launch, and even the Wright Brothers suffered many crashes along the way.
It’s somewhat like what Daniel Kahneman has said when he says he “enjoys having been wrong, because it means I am now less wrong than I was before”.
SpaceX will determine the failure(s) that occurred with this launch, and the next will be better. The crash was ugly, but it was a huge learning experience and should lead to great things in the future.