The test was being conducted ahead of a Saturday launch of an Israeli communications satellite.
A series of explosions followed a test of one of SpaceX’s Falcon rockets at Cape Canaveral on Thursday morning.
The company was conducting the test ahead of its launch of an Israeli communications satellite — called Amos-6 — scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3. Facebook had acquired some of the satellite’s capacity to support its Internet.org efforts.
SpaceX put out a statement confirming the explosion and said that no one was injured but the rocket and the payload — the satellite — were destroyed.
“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.”
Images of the scene show significant smoke; some eyewitnesses claim buildings in the surrounding area shook during the explosions.
— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) September 1, 2016
— tuddle (@tuddle) September 1, 2016
— Matt Reagan (@reaganmatt) September 1, 2016