Footage revealed suspicious activity on a nearby roof.
While reviewing footage of the unexplained explosion, unnamed industry officials report that SpaceX saw an “odd shadow and then a white spot” on the roof of a nearby building just before the blast – a building that’s owned by long-standing competitor United Launch Alliance (ULA).
The footage is being kept under wraps for now, but Christian Davenport from The Washington Post reports that a SpaceX employee tried to enter the ULA building to investigate after seeing the video, but was denied access. ULA says US Air Force investigators have since checked out the roof and found nothing suspicious.
So far, SpaceX hasn’t gone on the record about a sabotage investigation, so we don’t have a lot of evidence to go on, but last week, Elon Musk told a conference in Mexico that the source of the explosion is still unknown, and has also called it “the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years”.
“We’ve eliminated all of the obvious possibilities for what occurred there,” Musk told the International Astronautical Congress last week. “So what remains are the less probable answers.”
The mystery stems from the fact that the explosion occurred during a routine tank filling – the engines weren’t on, and SpaceX hasn’t been able to identify a heat source for the explosion.
Musk has publicly called on NASA, the Air Force, and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help with the investigation.