Update: SpaceX has confirmed that there were no personnel injuries in the blast but the rocket and payload were destroyed.
According to numerous eyewitness reports, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket just exploded during a test on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral. This rocket was set to launch on Saturday, Sept. 3 on a mission to deliver Facebook’s first satellite to orbit.
This rocket was scheduled to launch the Amos-6 communication satellite, which among other functions included the capabilities for Facebook to spot-beam broadband for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. Facebook and France-based satellite provider Eutelsat spent $95 million for a five-year lease on the satellite’s Ka-band communication array.
“We are disappointed by the loss but remain committed to our mission of connecting people to the Internet around the world,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
The local county emergency management office states there is no threat to the general public in the surrounding areas.