As SpaceX was testing an unmanned rocket in preparation for a launch on Saturday at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) lunch pad, near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, an explosion erupted sending a dark cloud of smoke into the air.
For several minutes the explosions continued, and buildings miles away shook from the blast.
SpaceX later confirmed that when they were preparing for the standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad, hence why the explosion occurred.
The rocket was one of the nine Falcon 9 rockets SpaceX plans to put up this year. This rocket, in particular, was meant to deliver Israeli company Spacecom’s Amos-6 communications satellite to orbit. The satellite was part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, and was going to make Internet access available to millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, it is now lost.
Part of the routine preparations for launch is what’s called a “static fire test.” The test burns the rocket’s engines while holding it in place with tethers.
As part of its routine preparations for launch, the company does what’s called a “static fire test,” which means it burns the engines while holding it in place with tethers. This is when things went awry.
But this isn’t the first time. A little over a year ago, another SpaceX rocket went up in flames. The rocket was due to carry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and failed about two minutes after liftoff.
Watch the video below that shows the Falcon 9 being blown apart.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense