SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Exploded in Cape Canaveral, Destroying Facebook Satellite
One of the leading commercial space flight companies, SpaceX, just suffered a huge misfortune as a Falcon 9 rocket exploded in Cape Canaveral Station in Florida on Sept. 1.
The explosion referred to by the company as an "anomaly" was captured in a video that showed a flare starting on the top part of the rocket before the entire machine exploded. Reports say that the Falcon 9 rocket that weighs 604 tons was being fuelled with liquid oxygen and high-grade kerosene propellant. The blast lasted for about four minutes started at 9:07 am.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed that there was an explosion through his Twitter account and promised that further information about the incident will be revealed once the company discovered what caused the misfortune. Being one of the most sought after space flight companies, the explosion did some damage to SpaceX and one of its projects that is the recent deal to send a Facebook satellite to space.
Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2016
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is working towards bringing the Internet to far-flung areas. To do so, Facebook created a satellite to beam Internet signal to remote areas such as Africa. But Zuckerberg will have to wait a little longer, since the rocket that will bring his satellite to space exploded. Falcon 9 is supposed to be launched this Saturday.
Although there are no injuries reported, it turned out that Facebook's Internet satellite, owned by an Israeli company Spacecom, was also destroyed during the explosion. "I'm deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX's launch failure destroyed our satellite," Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO wrote in a statement.
Explosions this massive are expected to create an effect to the surroundings like minor earth movements; in this case, it was heard for as far as 40 miles away. "We heard what sounded like a huge thunder strike," Evan Zimny, who heard the explosion nearby said in an interview with LA Times. "The building and window shook rapidly and loudly and [that] lasted a couple of seconds," Zimny, added.
SpaceX delivers cargo from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS) and back. The company is developing the technology to launch reusable rockets. If this succeeds, SpaceX will be the first commercial space flight company to send a recycled rocket to space.