Do not be fooled, that the road to the space exploration is lined up with asphalt and with roses and tulips on the sidelines. SpaceX Falcon-9 explosion together with payload of Israeli 6 satellites is a very proof of it.
Falcon-9 was set to launch on Saturday September 3 delivering Amos-6 communication satellite, which among other functions included the capabilities for Facebook to spot-beam broadband for Facebook’s initiative.
SpaceX in the Twitter statement says: “SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard prelaunch static 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”
The payload included a communications satellite meant to provide direct Internet access to large and remote swaths of sub-Saharan Africa, in a program led by Facebook that also includes Eutelsat and Spacecom, the Israeli company that made the AMOS-6 satellite.
“Kennedy Space Center Emergency Operations Center personnel are monitoring the situation and standing by to assist if required. Kennedy Environmental Health is monitoring the air quality to ensure it is safe for employees,” the statement said.
A webcam at the NASA Kennedy Space Center showed billowing smoke rising into the sky from the SpaceX launchpad, and nearby residents reported feeling vibrations from the explosion.
Witnesses reported seeing a fireball, hearing multiple explosions, feeling shock waves in buildings several miles away at Kennedy Space Center and seeing a plume of smoke rising from Launch Complex 40 just after 9
The Air Forces 45th Space Wing confirmed an explosion occurred at 9:07 It was not immediately clear if the failure began on the rocket or ground equipment.
Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser said the incident posed “no hazards to the general public.”
“We’re monitoring the situation, but there have been no requests for assistance,” she said.
KSCs Emergency Operations Center personnel were monitoring the situation and standing by to assist if required, while the environmental health office monitored air quality to ensure it is safe for employees, said spokesman Mike Curie.
In a statement, Senater Bill Nelson said the accident was a reminder that spaceflight is risky.