A SpaceX rocket loaded with much-needed supplies exploded just minutes after its launch on Sunday. Just after, American astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted from the International Space Station, "Sadly failed Space is hard."
As the third mission to the space station to be lost in recent months, the failure raises questions about the future of commercial spaceflight and the next step for SpaceX, Elon Musk's California-based aerospace company.
Greg Autry is an assistant professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business. He's been researching commercial spaceflight firms for more than a decade, and he told Take Two that the failure will likely not be so much of a technical setback for SpaceX, but could prove to be a political one.
"I'm sure there will be opponents of commercial space, people who want to stick with the old-school, government-run rocket programs, who will use this as an opportunity to try to say that we need to stick with our traditional ways of contracting doing things," Autry said. "But, frankly, that's ironic because we all know that the space shuttle was not the safest transportation system in the world, having [had] two failures."
To hear more, click on the audio player above.