SpaceX rocket explosion dashes Facebook’s Africa-internet hopes

Earlier this week, the pre-launch test of the latest SpaceX rocket went wrong, destroying the Facebook communications satellite which was on board.

 

The Israeli-built Amos-6 satellite was due to deliver broadband internet coverage to parts of sub-Saharan Africa, as part of Facebook and Eutelsat Communications’ join initiative, ‘Internet.org’.

 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was visiting Africa at the time of the explosion expressed his deep disappointment that the satellite had been destroyed.

 

Zuckerberg also added that himself and others involved in the initiative remain committed to their mission of connecting everyone, and will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.

 

A leading Israeli space official also said the loss of the satellite, which was worth over than $200m (£150m), was a major blow to the industry.

 

Aerospace company SpaceX said the explosion was a result of an anomaly which occurred while the rocket was being loaded with fuel – luckily, no-one was hurt by the blast. Apart from Zuckerberg’s feelings, of course.

 

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