Fast forward to today, the Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled for a test launch which resulted to the Space X explosion at its launchpad in Florida.
Facebook had planned to use the $US200 million communications satellite to beam high-speed internet to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
The setback was enormous, as the satellite was valued at over $200 million, and was meant to remain in service for at least15 years, bringing fast internet to14 countries.
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The major user of Amos-6 was Facebook, the social networking company that has purchased the Ka-band capacity of the satellite.
“As we continue to push the frontiers of space, there will be both triumphs and setbacks”, Nelson said in a statement. The firm noted that the sale was contingent upon the successful launch of the Amos-6, planned from Cape Canaveral, planned for this Saturday, Sept. 3.
The Amos-6 satellite was going to be used by a number of key clients, including Facebook (FB.O) to expand internet access in Africa.
“The pad clearly incurred damage, but the scope has yet to be fully determined”, SpaceX said in a statement.
The agency, which oversees United States commercial rocket launches, requires that SpaceX’s flights be suspended pending results of the probe.
The regular flight schedule has been impacted by the incident, the company acknowledges, as the launch pad in California is only able to support certain types of missions, and the Florida pad still has a ways to go before it can support launches. The cause of the explosion is yet unknown.
SpaceX is leasing the Cape Canaveral pad from the Air Force for unmanned Falcon launches.
Zuckerberg noted in his latest Facebook post that “we remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided”. The first stage of the 70m (229ft) tall Falcon 9 is powered by nine SpaceX-developed Merlin rocket engines; the second stage – where the explosion appeared to originate – has a single Merlin Vacuum engine to boost payloads into orbit.