"Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter. "No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky ..."
The F9R test vehicle is based on SpaceX's operational Falcon 9 rocket, which has a nine-engine first stage. SpaceX has also been performing reusability tests with the Falcon 9 rocket first stage by returning the boosters to Earth after satellite and spacecraft launches.
In their statement, SpaceX representatives said that finding anomalies with innovative new technology is the whole point of testing.
"With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program," SpaceX representatives wrote. "Today's test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test."
SpaceX engineers will review Friday's F9R rocket test in detail to understand what occurred before attempting its next reusable test in Texas. The company will provide more updates once that analysis is complete.