The explosion in Florida jeopardizes the $285 million sale of Israel’s Spacecom to China’s Beijing Xinwei.
A major explosion during a SpaceX prelaunch test Thursday destroyed Facebook’s first satellite. The satellite, AMOS-6, was a project of Facebook’s Internet.org program to deliver internet to the developing world. It was intended to ride a SpaceX Falcon 9 into orbit this Saturday, and would have been the first satellite the internet giant put in orbit.
It was valued at approximately $200 million, according to Spaceflight Now.
The rocket on the launchpad when an explosion rocked Cape Canaveral, Florida, was a Falcon 9.
Ars Technica reporter Eric Berger tweeted that the explosion was the result of a launch pad anomaly, not a problem with the rocket — and that AMOS-6 was on board:
So per @SpaceX, the issue was not with the rocket itself, but a pad anomaly. Bad news is that the payload (Amos 6 satellite) was lost.
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) September 1, 2016
SpaceX confirmed that both the rocket and the satellite were lost:
AMOS-6 would have provided internet coverage to sub-Saharan Africa.
Here’s picture of Falcon 9 with Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. pic.twitter.com/EuHGIGQYqy
— Peter B. de Selding (@pbdes) September 1, 2016