A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has exploded this morning at its launch pad at Cape Canaveral. Photos began appearing Thursday morning of a huge plume of smoke rising from the pad. The launch pad was clear and no injuries were reported.
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.
“It appears … the entire rocket exploded,” a source told CBS News space consultant William Harwood.
There is NO threat to general public from catastrophic abort during static test fire at SpaceX launch pad at CCAFS this morning.
— Brevard EOC (@BrevardEOC) September 1, 2016
The rocket was set to launch on Saturday carrying a satellite owned by Facebook that was the company’s first step in providing Internet to poor, disconnected areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
SpaceX pad on fire!! pic.twitter.com/Gx1KNEyvRD
— Kris (@krisn99) September 1, 2016