Earlier today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket undergoing testing for a launch on Saturday exploded. Video footage at the time just showed a plume of black smoke from miles away, but the first video from the launchpad tells a far more dramatic tale.
The rocket underwent what scientists delicately call a “static fire anomoly” — basically, the rocket was being test-fired on the launchpad, something critical failed, and–well, you can see the result.
Initial reports say that the failure was located in the oxygen tank. Last year, a failure of a strut in an oxygen tank caused a Falcon 9 to explode after launch, while trying to shoot a resupply for the ISS into orbit.
The payload this time was a communications satellite for Facebook, which was supposed to help bring wider internet connectivity to lower-income countries. In a statement, Mark Zuckerberg said he is “deeply disappointed” that SpaceX blew up his satellite, which sounds a lot like your dad’s “deeply disappointed” face when you tell him you crashed his truck.
As NASA and SpaceX both confirmed, the pad was empty at the time of the launch and there were no injuries, except to Elon Musk’s dignity and Mark Zuckerberg’s wallet.