Major loss for Africa as SpaceX Rocket and its cargo explode on launch pad

Major loss for Africa as SpaceX Rocket and its cargo explode on launch pad

Sept 02, 2016: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its commercial satellite payload, which would have widened the Internet access in Africa, were destroyed by an explosion at their launchpad in Florida during preparations for a routine test firing.

The explosion happened two days before the rocket was to be launched for placing a satellite in orbit.

No casualties were reported and there is reportedly no threat to the public's safety.

"An anomaly on the pad" caused the explosion, said SpaceX. The disaster struck when the rocket was being filled with propellant, said SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

He further confirmed that the blast originated near the upper stage oxygen tank.

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.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted an update saying he was "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."

He added his company is working on other technologies as well to offer similar opportunities this satellite would have provided.

The explosion follows a run of recent successes for SpaceX, except only one major failure. In June 2015, a Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon cargo ship for NASA exploded shortly after liftoff. SpaceX traced the problem to a faulty strut, and made upgrades before resuming commercial and NASA flights.

Related Posts

Nestlé Middle East shifts to new logistics hub

Nestlé Middle East shifts to ...

Jun 26, 2017: Mohebi Logistics and Nestlé Middle East celebrate the successful transition of Nestlé’s logistic ...

ATR bullish on Africa and China markets

ATR bullish on Africa and Chin ...

Jun 26, 2017: The regional turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR has announced new deals that will enable both ATR 42-600s and ATR 7 ...

Ethiopian Airlines orders five more Bombardier Q400 aircraft

Ethiopian Airlines orders five ...

24 Jun, 2017: Ethiopian Airlines has signed a firm purchase agreement for five additional Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft. The ...

DP World joins hands with Masdar’s green energy solutions for Africa and the Middle East ports

DP World joins hands with Masd ...

Jun 23, 2017: Dubai-based DP World and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar, have entered into a Memorandum of Unders ...