[Update September 3rd] SpaceX have published a page with a few updated details about the anomaly that caused the Falcon 9 to explode, updating their statement with the following:
SpaceX has begun the careful and deliberate process of understanding the causes and fixes for yesterday’s incident. We will continue to provide regular updates on our progress and findings, to the fullest extent we can share publicly.
We deeply regret the loss of AMOS-6, and safely and reliably returning to flight to meet the demands of our customers is our chief priority. SpaceX’s business is robust, with approximately 70 missions on our manifest worth over $10 billion. In the aftermath of yesterday’s events, we are grateful for the continued support and unwavering confidence that our commercial customers as well as NASA and the United States Air Force have placed in us.
They also cleared up the news that this explosion might cause some delays with the following:
SpaceX currently operates 3 launch pads – 2 in Florida and 1 in California at Vandenberg Air Force Base. SpaceX’s other launch sites were not affected by yesterday’s events. Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base is in the final stages of an operational upgrade and Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center remains on schedule to be operational in November. Both pads are capable of supporting Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches. We are confident the two launch pads can support our return to flight and fulfill our upcoming manifest needs.
You can read more updates via the update source link below.
Update source: SpaceX
[Update September 2nd] Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the news that his companies satellite blown up, posting the following statement on his Facebook page:
As I'm here in Africa, I'm deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX's launch failure destroyed our satellite that would…
We can’t help but think that Zuck could have put this better, blaming SpaceX and saying that he is “disappointed” makes it seem like launching a rocket is easy, or that it was SpaceX’s fault.
Neither of which is the case.
[Original Story] Just two days before it was set to launch, SpaceX’s next-to-be-launched Flacon 9 exploded during a rocket test earlier today, taking its payload of the AMOS-6 satellite with it.
The launch was scheduled for Saturday morning, and was set to take the$200 million AMOS-6 into an orbit where it could widen internet access in Africa, obviously, that will not happen after the explosion today.
It all happened at the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral Air Station and was caused by “an anomaly on the pad” according to SpaceX. We haven’t heard much about the incident just yet, however, it has been reported that there were no casualties and there is no threat to the public’s safety.
SpaceX explained with the following statement:
“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s static fire, 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.”
This is a huge set back for SpaceX, who have a slew of upcoming launches scheduled. It is possible that NASA would want SpaceX to investigate what went wrong, and these launches would have to postponed if such an occurrence was to happen, as it did when the Falcon 9 exploded back in June 2015, leaving SpaceX grounded for around six months.
Of course, we will keep you updated as we hear more.
[Update 1] A video of the explosion has been released, and we have added it above.
[Update 2] Elon Musk and SpaceX have tweeted about the incident:
Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2016
Update on this morning's anomaly pic.twitter.com/1ogCMPCY44
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 1, 2016