A plethora of tweets and videos broke the internet when eyewitnesses started reported the blast caused by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s explosion during a test on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The rocket originally was due to be launched on Saturday, Sept. 3 to deliver Facebook’s first satellite to orbit.
In a response on his Facebook page, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent”.
Watch the rocket explode in this video:
The rocket was designed to launch the Amos-6 communication satellite into the orbit as a part of Facebook’s mission to provide internet access across the globe, called the Internet.org initiative. The satellite was capable of providing spot-beam broadband for the initiative, and almost $195 million as part of a five-year lease was spent on the satellite by Facebook and France-based satellite provider Eutelsat.
The local authorities state that there is no immediate threat caused by the explosion to the general public in the surrounding areas.
In a bid to placate the embarrassing loss Zuckerberg added “Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well,” referencing the company’s drone project that is also built to provide high-speed internet in areas like Sub-Saharan deserts.
Facebook correspondents refreshed their vows to remain committed to their Internet.org initiative and keep working until they can cover the financial and the loss of opportunity this explosion has caused.
Below is the official statement by SpaceX after the explosion:
Watch this space!