clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Elon Musk just blew up Mark Zuckerberg’s satellite

The SpaceX rocket carrying the satellite exploded in a test run ahead of its Saturday launch.

SpaceX: The Privately Funded Aerospace Company Founded By Elon Musk NASA via Getty Images

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 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.

Update: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that, though the cause of the explosion is still unknown, it originated around the upper stage of the oxygen tank.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the destruction of the payload that the company was hoping would bolster its efforts.

As I'm here in Africa, I'm deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX's launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.

Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.

This article originally appeared on