Facebook ‘s commendable at the same time ambitious mission to spread the internet across sub-Saharan Africa was unfortunately greeted with a major setback after the rocket which was due to launch the communication satellite blasted during the routine tests which were undertaken.
The launch, which had been decided to be held on Friday faced substantial delays after the explosion on Thursday on the launch pad of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inews.co.uk reported. Nobody is thought to have been hurt in the explosion, which occurred in a routine test firing ahead of a planned launch to take a satellite into space this weekend.
The cause of this fateful explosion is still unknown and has been put down to “an anomaly” by the satellite’s owner, Elon Musk ‘s SpaceX company. Spreading on the internet like wild fire, the satellite was due to become the first in Facebook’s project to expand the “need of the hour” internet to the developing world. This initiative would have for sure been the talk of the town , had it been successful in its nature.
However, the Amos-6 communication satellite, which would have permitted Facebook to spot-beam broadband for its Internet.org initiative, and the rocket have both been wrecked in the blast. This explosion led to buildings being shaken several miles away and created a thick plume of smoke into the air.
Africa’s chance at accessing internet gone astray?
“There is no threat to general public from catastrophic abort during static test fire at SpaceX launch pad,” a spokesman for the Brevard County Emergency Management Office said.
The rocket explosion is a major setback for SpaceX. Led by billionaire Elon Musk, the California-based company, had been ramping up with recurrent launches to make up for a buildup created by a launch accident which happened in June 2015. SpaceX was renting the pad from the Air Force for all its Falcon launches.