SpaceX Falcon 9 Explosion A Huge Blow To Elon Musk's Plans, Repercussions Across Space Industry [VIDEO]By Ron S., UniversityHerald Reporter
SpaceX was conducting a static fire test on its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where there was an explosion that ripped the launch vehicle along with its precious payload, which was the Amos-6.
SpaceX apparently experienced the mishap during pre-launch preparations during the static fire phase, which was supposed to be a routine check before the scheduled launch on Saturday. The explosion seemingly came from somewhere between the link of the 2-stage rocket, Space News reported.
The catastrophic event does not only affect the scheduled launch, but likely hinders Elon Musk's short term plans. The payload aboard the ill-fated launch vehicle was the Amos-6 communications satellite, which was owned by the Israeli satellite operator, Spacecom.
The Amos-6 satellite was developed by Spacecom with funds coming from Facebook. The satellite was planned to be used to provide internet access to remote parts in sub-Saharan Africa, Space.com reported.
The Falcon 9 has several successful missions for this year alone, but this event could have set back the company despite its track record. The explosion left Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, without a satellite, which was integral for its plans to connect parts of sub-Sahara Africa to the internet.
The tragic event also impacts Musk's immediate contracts, wherein there is already nine launches expected to be conducted using the Falcon 9 rocket.
On-site SpaceX representatives have stated that the anomaly came from somewhere around the upper-stage. During the engine test, the upper-stage burst into a fireball as soon as the propellant was about to load.
The timing of the event was just unfortunate as Zuckerberg is currently visiting Africa, as of which were the intended benefactor of the services provided by the Amos-6 satellite, according to BBC.
Zuckerberg expressed that he is "deeply disappointed" that the payload had been lost in the explosion, but stated that the event would not derail his ambitions to provide internet, and ultimately connecting the world.
The video below shows the whole event, wherein the explosion can be seen at the 1:11 mark.