A SpaceX booster rocket exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida on Thursday morning.
The explosion shook nearby buildings and spewed smoke into the sky just 2 days before its planned liftoff with an Israeli satellite.
Wow, SpaceX rocket just blew up on pad. Shook our whole bldg. pic.twitter.com/PMxZA4v4IV
— SpaceCoastTiger (@TigernBear) September 1, 2016
NASA said SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred.
The Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch the Israeli satellite which would have provided broadband internet coverage to sub-Saharan Africa, as part of an initiative spearheaded by Facebook.
Statement on this morning’s anomaly pic.twitter.com/3Xm2bRMS7T
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 1, 2016
Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser told Florida Today the explosion happened around 9:15 a.m.
“There are no hazards to the general public,” she said. “We’re monitoring the situation, but there have been no requests for assistance.”
The county Emergency Management Office tweeted:
There is NO threat to general public from catastrophic abort during static test fire at SpaceX launch pad at CCAFS this morning.
— Brevard EOC (@BrevardEOC) September 1, 2016
Elon Musk’s SpaceX planned to launch its ninth rocket into space Saturday morning, carrying a communications satellite belonging to Israel-based Spacecom into orbit over the equator. The explosion happened during what was supposed to have been a routine test firing.