One of the Space X’s Falcon 9 rockets exploded at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida while readying for launch.
The causes of the explosion are unknown at the time of this writing, but according to the Associated Press (AP), SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the explosion occurred.
The test firing doesn’t bode well for the company, as it was gearing up to launch the rocket with an Amos 6 satellite on board for the Israeli operator Spacecom on Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
“Buildings several miles away shook from the blast, and multiple explosions continued for several minutes. A cloud of dark smoke filled the overcast sky,” AP said.
The Verge says that test firing a rocket before launch is common practice, and in this case that company is very lucky that it did.
“Prior to all launches, SpaceX conducts a static fire test, in which the rocket’s engines are turned on while the vehicle is constrained. It’s a routine procedure the company has done many times before,” it wrote.
As we mentioned before, details are a bit sketchy at this point, but once we have discovered exactly what went wrong, we’ll update the story. There has also been no word on whether there have been any fatalities.
It does look pretty localized. Falcon 9 appears to have had a RUD well within her pad area. Still awful of course. pic.twitter.com/wdf09P6bKQ
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) September 1, 2016
— Hunter Blaeser (@MinnesotaLoving) September 1, 2016