New Delhi: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was all set for launch on Saturday, September 3, has just exploded, according to eyewitness reports.
The rocket, that was supposed to be launched on a mission to deliver Facebook’s first satellite to orbit, was resting on a launch pad in Cape Canaveral when the explosion occurred.
As per the Associated Press, however, the rocket exploded while it was being tested.
The status of the payload is unknown at this time.
TechCrunch has reported that the rocket was scheduled to launch the Amos-6 communication satellite, which among other functions included the capabilities for Facebook to spot-beam broadband for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. Facebook and France-based satellite provider Eutelsat spent $95 million for a five year lease on the satellite’s Ka-band communication array.
Below are a few tweets from eyewitnesses that show images from the explosion:
— Hunter Blaeser (@MinnesotaLoving) September 1, 2016
It does look pretty localized. Falcon 9 appears to have had a RUD well within her pad area. Still awful of course. pic.twitter.com/wdf09P6bKQ
— Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) September 1, 2016
— Erin Head (@ErinHead_HIM) September 1, 2016