A SpaceX Falcon 9 (Amos-6) rocket set to launch on Saturday, September 3 on a mission to deliver Facebook’s first satellite to orbit, just exploded during a test on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX said “an anomaly” had occurred while the rocket was being loaded with fuel. It said no-one was injured.
“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and the payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries,” it said on Twitter.
Update on this morning’s anomaly pic.twitter.com/1ogCMPCY44
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 1, 2016
According to BBC, Facebook, in partnership with Eutelsat Communications, had been due to use the Israeli-built Amos-6 satellite to deliver broadband internet coverage for swathes of sub-Saharan Africa as part of its Internet.org initiative.
Reacting to the sad news, Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg said in a post:
As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.
Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.
Watch the video: