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SpaceX Rocket Explosion Destroys Facebook Project Satellite

"I'm deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX's launch failure destroyed our satellite," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Last updated on September 1, 2016, at 12:40 p.m. ET

Posted on September 1, 2016, at 10:15 a.m. ET

U.S. Launch Report / Via youtube.com

An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded at its Florida launch site around 9 a.m. Thursday morning, NASA officials told the AP.

The rocket was performing a test firing when it exploded at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The rocket's launch was planned for Saturday. It was supposed to hoist a satellite intended to bring Internet connectivity to sub-Sahara Africa as part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative.

"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," SpaceX said in a statement, adding that the pad was clear and there were no injuries.

The Brevard County Emergency Management Office said the blast poses no threat to the public.

The moment of the explosion was captured on video.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com


Another video showed thick black smoke rising into the air shortly after.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Facebook's first satellite, AMOS-6, was destroyed in Thursday's blast. The satellite, part of Facebook's Internet.org program, was intended to bring internet to developing countries in Africa.

The satellite was scheduled to be part of Saturday's launch.

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerburg wrote he was "deeply disappointed" the satellite was destroyed.

Facebook: zuck

Here's Zuckerberg's announcement of the satellite from last year:

Facebook: zuck


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