Photo via SpaceX/Flickr

A SpaceX rocket just exploded, and it destroyed one of Facebook’s satellites in the process

No one was injured in the incident.


AJ Dellinger


Published Sep 1, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 3:06 am CDT

A test of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday in Cape Canaveral, Florida ended in an explosion on the launch pad. The damage has claimed the rocket and its payload.

The rocket was set to launch on Saturday, September 3, 2016. Its mission was to deliver an AMOS-6 communication satellite belonging to Facebook. The satellite was part of Facebook’s initiative and would be used to deliver internet to the developing world.

The AMOS-6 satellite, which reportedly was set to be used to provide internet connectivity to rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa, was on board the Falcon 9 rocket at the time of the test and was destroyed in the explosion.

“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 its payload, a SpaceX spokesperson told the Daily Dot. “Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.”

Reports on social media indicate the blast was noticeable, even from a distance. A Twitter user reported feeling his work building shake in the wake of the explosion. Kerrin Jeromin, the meteorologist for CBS affiliate station WPEC, reported the smoke plume from the explosion could be seen on radar.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot, “We are disappointed by the loss but remain committed to our mission of connecting people to the Internet around the world.”  

H/T TechCrunch

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*First Published: Sep 1, 2016, 12:28 pm CDT