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SpaceX Rocket Explosion Takes Facebook’s Project Down With it

The rocket was meant to launch a satellite this weekend.

Updated
Tech News
2 min read
(Photo courtesy: <a href="https://twitter.com/PointyEndUp/status/771336568380481537">Twitter/@PointyEndUp</a>)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket reportedly exploded at the company’s Cape Canaveral launch site, in Florida, on Thursday. The rocket was meant to launch an Israeli AMOS-6 satellite on 3 September.

The failed project was not only a setback for SpaceX’s chief executive Elon Musk but also for Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

The explosion destroyed a commercial satellite that Facebook intended to use to provide internet access in remote parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Media reports suggest the explosion happened “at approximately 9:07am”.

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Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to express his disappointment over the launch failure. The internet entrepreneur said that Facebook will remain committed towards the mission of connecting people across this planet.

NASA says SpaceX was conducting a routine test firing of its unmanned Falcon 9 rocket when the blast occurred.

The test was being undertaken ahead of the planned Saturday launch of the Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral air force station.

SpaceX Issues Statement

The Falcon 9 on its 29th flight was to carry Amos-6 comsat satellite as its primary payload on 3 September.

Amos-6 was an Israeli 5.5-ton earth communications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which is now believed to have been lost in Thursday’s accident. The satellite is believed to be worth $200 million.

NASA Space Flight managing Director informed through his Twitter account that the explosion appears to be localised. He also added that no casualties are expected as Space X has pretty stringent safety protocols.

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Doug Elison, a NASA employee was in the complex at the time and felt the explosion. Doug also took the opportunity to remind us of the Hazards of space exploration.

More details awaited.

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