CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX says a massive explosion has destroyed one of its rockets during a routine test for a weekend launch. A satellite aboard the rocket was also destroyed.
SpaceX says there were no injuries.
The company was conducting a test firing of its unmanned Falcon rocket when the blast occurred. In a statement, SpaceX says “there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload.” It didn’t provide any details.
The rocket was to be launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It was supposed to hoist an Israeli communications satellite.
A Facebook spokesman says the company is disappointed by the loss of a satellite in the SpaceX explosion that was part of a plan to bring internet service to areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
Chris Norton says Facebook remains “committed to our mission of connecting people to the Internet around the world.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is currently on his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, with stops so far in Nigeria and Kenya.