SpaceX rocket explodes on launch pad in Cape Canaveral

The company says that an anomaly on the pad resulted in the loss of the vehicle and its payload.

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A SpaceX (Hawthorne, Calif.) rocket exploded at the launch pad in Cape Canaveral on Thursday morning during the pre-launch static fire test of its unmanned Falcon 9 rocket. The company tweeted that “an anomaly on the pad resulted in the loss of the vehicle and its payload.” There were no injuries. SpaceX says the anomaly originated around the upper stage oxygen tank and occurred during the propellant loading of the vehicle. The company is continuing to review the data to identify the root cause.  

SpaceX Founder Elon Musk tweeted the following:


SpaceX was preparing to launch an unmanned rocket that would carry a satellite used by Facebook (Menlo Park, Calif.) to bring Internet access to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe. 

From Africa, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote:


According to CNN, SpaceX had contracted with NASA to use a different launch pad at Cape Canaveral for future launches prior to Thursday's explosion. None of NASA's facilities at Cape Canaveral were damaged by the blast. 

Here is a video from US Launch Report of the explosion: