SpaceX Rocket Explodes, Fails To Deliver Facebook's Multi-Million Dollar Satellite

“If anyone on this planet can recover from this, it’s Elon Musk”, said Dick Rocket, CEO and founder of Cape Canaveral-based New Space Global. Facebook and satellite partner Eutelsat Communications S.A. had meant to use the technology to support low-priced broadband services in sub-Saharan Africa. SpaceX was planning up to nine Falcon 9 launches by the end of 2016, all of which will now be delayed.

The rocket was supposed to hoist an Israeli communications satellite this weekend.

It “would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent”, he continued. After four minutes or so, helicopters started to reach at the place to investigate the scene and the damage. SpaceX may be able to launch out of a different site at Cape Canaveral, though. There was no immediate word on any injuries; the launch pad usually is cleared before a test firing of a SpaceX Falcon rocket. “We’re confident in SpaceX and that they will find and resolve any issues causing this incident, and we will be ready to go once that occurs”, Iridium Communications Inc said in a statement. “Additional updates will be provided as they become available”. “The building and window shook rapidly and loudly and lasted a couple of seconds”.

Before that, SpaceX had logged 18 successful launches of the Falcon 9 – including six of 12 planned supply missions to the ISS carried out as part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

Spacecraft destroyed: a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes at Cape Canaveral yesterday.

A number of videos of the explosion have surfaced since the blast; the one below shows a close-up of the exact moment. The explosion occurred at 9:07 a.m. ET as the company was preparing to test fire Falcon 9’s powerful engines in preparation for a launch on Saturday.

“We remain confident in our commercial partners and firmly stand behind the successful 21st century launch complex that NASA, other federal agencies, and U.S. commercial companies are building on Florida’s Space Coast”, it added.

The satellite launch was to expand Facebook’s presence in Africa by beaming internet from the sky. The rockets can launch the capsule 100 meters away from the rocket in just two seconds, and a half-kilometer away within five seconds. After a rocket launch, the first part of the rocket returns to Earth and can be used again.

Thursday’s explosion could have global repercussions, since the successful launch of the satellite was a condition of Space Communication Ltd.’s $285 million sale to a Beijing Xinwei Group unit, according to an August 24 filing to the Tel Aviv stock market.