On Thursday, it was a bad morning for SpaceX, either it’s not great one for Facebook’s space ambitions.
The rocket included the Amos-6 Satellite, which Facebook was expecting to use to beam internet to millions of people in faraway parts of the world(sub –Saharan Africa)SES, Which operates the satellite network the AMOS-6 was supposed to join, announced that deal in April.
Explosion SpaceX Falcon 9 and its AMOS-6 satellite shipment during a routine rocket firing in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The unnamed Falcon 9 had been scheduled to launch Saturday.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted the explosion occurred during a “propellant fill operation” near the rocket’s upper-stage oxygen tank. “Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries,” he added.
A loss For Facebook:
The launch of AMOS-6 was collaboration between Facebook and French based satellite provider Eutelsat Communications, and would have been part of internet.org. Facebook and Eutelsat had a contract to lease the AMOS-6 satellite for $95 million over 5 years.
According to a post on his personal Facebook page, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared the company’s plan to use the AMOS-6 and through the AMOS-6 satellite to provide internet coverage to “huge sections of West, East and Southern Africa.” on 5th Oct, 2015.
He also said that they are work with local partners across these regions to help societies begin accessing internet services provided through satellite.
As part of our collaboration with Eutelsat, a new satellite called AMOS-6 is going to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The AMOS-6 satellite is under construction now and will launch in 2016 into a geostationary orbit that will cover large parts of West, East and Southern Africa. We’re going to work with local partners across these regions to help communities begin accessing internet services provided through satellite.
This is just one of the innovations we’re working on to achieve our mission with Internet.org. Connectivity changes lives and communities. We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world even if that means looking beyond our planet.
The AMOS-6 satellite was owned by the Israeli-based satellite operator Space Communications and was built in collaboration with Israeli Space Industries. The satellite was estimated to cost $195 million when the plan to build it was first announced.
Currently, SpaceX has making progress on plans to reuse its Falcon 9 rocket boosters, among the successful straight landing of five spent boosters. Not any boosters have yet been used for a second flight.
The loss of Amos-6 could come as a blow to Spacecom, which saw its stock drop in late November 2015 when its AMOS-5 satellite failed while in track.