A SpaceX Rocket Just Exploded at Cape Canaveral

There’s been an explosion on SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral launch complex. Apparently, a Falcon 9 rocket is in flames, and several images of a smoke plume rising above the complex suggest that something is very wrong.

Following a flurry of tweets about the explosion, NASA confirmed that there was indeed a series of explosions. The AP reports:

NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning. The test, considered routine, was in advance of a planned 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.

SpaceX reports that there were no injuries, but both the vehicle and its payload were lost. Its payload, by the way, was apparently an Israeli-made communications satellite that Facebook was going to use to blast free internet down to sub-Saharan Africa.

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