SpaceX Rocket, Satellite Destroyed In Explosions (Updated)
Explosions this morning at Cape Canaveral, where SpaceX is testing an unmanned rocket to prepare for a satellite launch, were due to "an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload," SpaceX said following the incident, which shook buildings in the area. "Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.” SpaceX, which has been launching unmanned rockets and transporting cargo in collaboration with NASA, was conducting static tests to prepare for an early Saturday launch to take an Israeli communications satellite into orbit, according to Florida Today. It's unclear what issues were detected on the launch pad, but SpaceX operations will be delayed as the incident is investigated.
News reports after 9 a.m. described multiple explosions felt in the area for several miles and photos show smoke billowing from the launch site. Emergency responders tweeted that the incident was a "catastrophic abort" of the rocket firing and "there is no threat to the general public." SpaceX, which has been working with NASA to developed reusable rockets that can land on seaborne platforms, has seen explosions in past launches due to malfunctions and has deliberately destroyed a rocket after problems were detected.