SpaceX Rocket Explodes in Cape Canaveral Before Launch

Thursday, 01 September 2016 - 12:28PM
SpaceX
Thursday, 01 September 2016 - 12:28PM
SpaceX Rocket Explodes in Cape Canaveral Before Launch
This morning, a SpaceX rocket exploded at Cape Canaveral ahead of a scheduled launch on Saturday. Luckily, no one was injured, but the satellite payload was destroyed along with the rocket.



The rocket was scheduled to launch on Saturday, along with Amos 6, a private satellite—owned by Facebook and French satellite firm Eutelsat Communications—that was intended to enter Earth's orbit. If the mission had succeeded, it would have provided home internet and other communication services to homes in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

Unfortunately, the satellite won't be able to provide any of those services, as an explosion occurred around 10am this morning on Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40, which is leased by SpaceX, during a test fire before the launch. There's no word on the cause yet—SpaceX is blaming it on "an anomaly"—but we know that the explosion destroyed both the rocket and Amos 6.

This is very bad news for SpaceX—and all of us—in both the short-term and long-term. The launch pad involved in the explosion is the same one used for re-supply missions to the ISS, and according to The BBC, this could throw all of SpaceX's future plans off-schedule. Most notably, the company is anticipating the first private unmanned mission to Mars in 2018, which may now have to be delayed, depending on the extent of the damage to SpaceX's equipment and finances.
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