Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Robert Walker | rocket | explosion | tragic

Former Rep. Walker: Rocket Explosion 'Tragic'

By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 03:15 PM

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Walker, who served as the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee during his tenure in Congress, tells Newsmax TV that the recent rocket explosion in Virginia is "tragic" even though there was no loss of life.

"It's tragic because I know that orbital scientists that built the rocket have put a lot of time and effort into building a good machine, and we still have no idea what went wrong," Walker told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

He discuss this and political issues.

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An unmanned rocket that was supposed to bring supplies to the International Space Station exploded seconds after launch Tuesday night. It was the first catastrophic launch by a private company.

"It would appear in the initial stages that it may have been an engine problem, but we don't know that at the present time," he explained.

"These things are always tragic. There were some experiments done by students aboard that capsule that they've worked on for a long time that will never get to orbit," he said.

"There's a lot of tragedy involved even when there's no loss of life," he added.

The Pennsylvania Republican said that he hopes "that what it doesn't do is move us away from using the commercial forces for resupply."

"We need to have a lot more in the way of commercial activity in the space arena if we are going to be able to move our exploration beyond earth orbit and further into space," he explained.

The rocket engines that were used by Orbital Sciences, the owner of the rocket that exploded Tuesday, were Russian rockets that are decades old.

"The concern is the fact that these are engines built back in the 1960s, so they're pretty old technology," Walker explained.

"They have been modified some by the Orbital Sciences people, but there is some concern about those engines, but these were not Russian engines that had been built recently," he said.

However, "they have gone through an awful lot of testing up until now," he added.

The Russian rocket maker said that it its engine is not at fault for the explosion.

A rocket launch at Cape Canaveral Wednesday, using a Russian-built engine, launched without a problem.

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Former Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Walker, who served as the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee during his tenure in Congress, tells Newsmax TV that the recent rocket explosion in Virginia is tragic even though there was no loss of life.
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2014-15-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 03:15 PM
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