Space X explosion at Cape Canaveral

No injuries in Thursday’s explosion on a SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral. But Facebook’s planned satellite is no more.

A large explosion took place on September 1, 2016 at a SpaceX launch pad – Launch Complex 40 – at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX was refueling its Falcon 9 rocket in preparation for a planned launch this weekend and called the explosion an “anomaly on the pad.” The explosion occurred shortly after 9 a.m. ET Thursday (1300 UTC). The explosion shook buildings up to five miles away, according to various sources.

The Falcon 9 explosion destroyed the Israeli commercial communications satellite, which was set to launch Saturday at midnight and which, according to the Orlando Sentinel, was Facebook’s next step toward provide Internet service to poorly connected areas in the Middle East, parts of Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said:

After the explosion, radar showed a large plume of smoke spreading out toward the ocean.

Soon after the explosion occurred, reports began coming in of smaller, secondary explosions.

SpaceX was founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who explained on Twitter:

A SpaceX spokesperson also confirmed there were no injuries in the blast.

Bottom line: Explosion at Space X launch site, September 1, 2016.

Deborah Byrd