Fortunately, since the incident occurred near the time of a scheduled inspection of the launcher engine, all people in the vicinity were removed and therefore there were no casualties in the incident. A communication space response has not yet been received * In the meantime, it turns out that another company may be affected by the disaster - Facebook, which bought the entire broadband capacity of the Amos 6 satellite for free internet service to the third world
Today, September 1st at nine o'clock in the morning Florida time (16:00 p.m. Israel time) an explosion occurred on the launch pad of the SpaceX company during pre-launch tests, in preparation for the launch that was planned for Saturday, September 3rd. (See previous news)
In SpaceX's initial statement, the company announced: "SpaceX performed a static propulsion test of the Falcon 9 launcher. This test, which is conducted before every SpaceX launch, includes activation of the rocket's first stage engine, while the booster itself remains connected for the launch.
In a message posted on SpaceX's Twitter account Its people said: "SpaceX can confirm that during the preparations for the static test of the engine (that's what the test is called), an anomaly occurred on the launch pad that caused the loss of the launcher and the cargo that was on it (the Amos 6 satellite)." It was also reported that since it was a standard experiment, all the people in the vicinity of the launcher were removed, so there were no casualties."
Losing the deal with Facebook
A response from the Space Communications company that owns the Amos 6 satellite has not yet been received. Earlier this evening, the chairman of the Israel Space Agency, Prof. Yitzhak Ben Israel, confirmed in an interview with the website Ha'ad that the Amos 6 satellite was indeed destroyed in an explosion caused by the malfunction.
SpaceX, Communications Space and the Aerospace Industry have been joined by another entity that will probably be forced to look for an alternative satellite. About a year ago, the Amos 6 satellite made headlines when Facebook bought all of its internet bandwidth capacity. This capacity was supposed to be used to provide free basic internet services directly to the people of Africa. The value of the deal, according to media reports, is 100 million dollars.
The agreement signed as part of the Internet.org initiative in which the social network helps connect millions of people in developing countries to the Internet. The service, renamed Free Basic, will allow residents of 19 countries to access 60 basic Internet services including search and medical information from their mobile phones for free at low bandwidth. Many countries around the third world, and India in particular, opposed the service because it works against the nature of the Internet, and is limited only to the services of Facebook and some of its partners. In Google, for example, subscribers in developing countries will not be able to surf for free.