SpaceX rocket explodes on launch pad in blow for Facebook satellite plan

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its cargo were destroyed in an explosion at Cape Canaveral on Thursday.

The blast occurred as the rocket was being fueled, but the cause of the explosion was not immediately known, Reuters reported.

The $62 million rocket was scheduled to launch on Saturday. It was carrying an Amos-6 satellite owned by Israeli company Spacecom. Facebook planned to use the satellite’s bandwidth to boost internet connectivity in Africa.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is designed to transport satellites and spacecraft into space. It has nine first-stage engines, which can sustain two engine shutdowns during flight without compromising the mission, according to SpaceX.

The second stage delivers the payload into orbit. Its single engine can be reignited several times to send multiple payloads into space.

The first stage of the rocket is designed to return to Earth so it can be reused. Rocket burns decelerate the Falcon 9 before four landing legs deploy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook that he was “deeply disappointed” by the mission’s failure.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off, highlight nine engines
2. Falcon 9 first stage separates, second stage ignites, boost payload towards space
3. Falcon 9 first stage lands on
4. Facebook Amos 6 satellite in space sending internet signals to Africa.

VOICEOVER (in English):

“The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is designed to transport satellites and spacecraft into space. It has nine first-stage engines, which can sustain two engine shutdowns during flight without compromising the mission.”

“The second stage delivers the payload into orbit. Its single engine can be reignited several times to send multiple payloads into space.”

“The first stage of the rocket is designed to return to Earth so it can be reused. Rocket burns decelerate the Falcon 9 before four landing legs deploy.”

“The Falcon 9 that exploded on Thursday was carrying an Amos-6 satellite, which Facebook planned to use to boost internet connectivity in Africa.”
SOURCES: SpaceX, Reuters
http://www.spacex.com/falcon9
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-x-blast-idUSKCN11750U