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'Explore Mars' president talks SpaceX explosion: 'Space is hard … we trust SpaceX'

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'Explore Mars' president talks SpaceX explosion: 'Space is hard … we trust SpaceX'

Tough times for SpaceX?

How big of a setback is SpaceX looking at after its Falcon 9 rocket exploded Thursday morning during a test?

It's launch calendar might get a little backed up, but the company hasn't lost any standing in the space community.

Artemis Westenberg is the president of Explore Mars, a nonprofit created to help get humans to Mars within the next two decades. She says SpaceX is "the new kid on the block," but "we trust them to get it right."

Space travel isn't easy...

"Space is hard. Anyone thinking that it's Star Trek or Star Wars -- and you zip off -- it's not. It never was," Westenberg tells Circa. "Things happen."

Westenberg says, unfortunately, rocket explosions happen during launch pad testing more often than anyone would like.

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Artemis Westenberg, President of Explore Mars

Artemis Westenberg is president and director, and co-founder of Explore Mars.

Airplanes crash sometimes, too

The FAA rates an airliner "human safe" after 400 take-offs and landings.

If we were to hypothetically rate rockets the same way, the only type to meet that requirement would be the Russian Soyuz, and "even those blow up once in a while," Westenberg said referring to the spacecraft carries people and supplies to and from the International Space Station.

What's next for SpaceX?

As far as SpaceX's ability to bounce back with a fresh rocket, Westenberg says the space company's hanger in California is incredibly active and no doubt has another vessel at least partially built already.

"You don't start building the next one, like, [oh we lost that one], let's start a new one ... that would take too long." she explains.

"It would be bad rocket business if you weren't prepared for setbacks."

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