Published On: Thu, Sep 1st, 2016

WATCH: SpaceX Rocket Blows Up, Taking Down Facebook’s first satellite, made in Israel

The explosion destroyed Amos 6 satellite which planed to deliver internet to the developing world.

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Israeli satellite, AMOS-6, had been lost in a major explosion during a SpaceX prelaunch test Thursday in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The explosion destroyed Facebook’s first satellite to deliver internet all over Africa. Amos 6 was planed to ride a SpaceX Falcon 9 into orbit this Saturday.

This is the second accident that SpaceX has encountered in roughly the past 14 months. On June 28, 2015 a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its CRS-7 Dragon spacecraft cargo were lost 139 seconds into the flight when a strut holding a helium tank in the rocket’s second stage failed.

The accident occurred at 9:07 a.m. EDT (13:07 GMT). AP reports that two NASA astronauts were conducting a spacewalk 250 miles up, outside the International Space Station, when the explosion occurred. Buildings shook from the blast, and multiple explosions continued for several minutes. Dark smoke filled the overcast sky. A half-hour later, a black cloud hung low across the eastern horizon.

This is the second accident that SpaceX has encountered in roughly the past 14 months. On June 28, 2015 a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its CRS-7 Dragon spacecraft cargo were lost 139 seconds into the flight when a strut holding a helium tank in the rocket’s second stage failed., according to Space Flight Insider.

 

 

CNN reported, this is similar to the 1997 loss of a Delta II rocket with the GPS-IIR-1 satellite for the United States Air Force Global Positioning System. That mission got underway from Cape Canaveral and lasted for about 13 seconds into the flight.

Then, as now, people were ordered to remain indoors. Space Flight Insider added the Full Thrust Falcon 9 utilizes relatively benign sources of propellant (RP-1 – a highly-refined form of kerosene and liquid oxygen) Additionally, it appears the Amos-6 satellite was attached to the rocket and therefore lost. Typically, orders to remain indoors are issued for when hypergolics, which do appear to have been on the Amos-6 satellite, are used.

SpaceX issued the following statement, confirming that the Amos-6 satellite had indeed been lost:

“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.”

Amos-6 was built by Israel Aerospace Industries and was planned to have an operational life of about 15 years. According to Space News Facebook and satellite fleet operator Eutelsat have agreed to pay $95 million over about five years to lease the Ka-band spot-beam broadband capacity on the satellite scheduled to launch on Saturday.

The satellite itself cost about $200 million to produce.

At present, it is not known how much damage Space Launch Complex 40 has received or how long it will take to repair.

SpaceX is one of two companies shipping supplies to the space station for NASA. It’s also working on a crew capsule to ferry station U.S. astronauts; that first flight was supposed to come as early as next year.

 

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