An explosion at SpaceX’s main launch pad Thursday morning resulted in the destruction of a rocket and a Facebook satellite.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk says the problem originated near the upper stage oxygen tank.
Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2016
A statement released by SpaceX says the incident happened during the loading of the rocket but the cause is still unknown.
The company reported no one was hurt during the incident.
“Per standard operating procedure, all personnel were clear of the pad and there were no injuries,” reads the statement.
The Falcon rocket was conducting a test ahead of its planned launch this Saturday.
On Twitter NASA explains the incident serves as a reminder of how challenging spaceflight can be.
Today’s @SpaceX incident—while not a NASA launch—reminds us that spaceflight is challenging. Our partners learn from each success & setback
— NASA (@NASA) September 1, 2016
They say it’s too early to know whether the explosion will affect SpaceX cargo launches to the Space Station.
NASA is also reassuring that the launch of the Osiris-Rex – scheduled to launch on September 8 – remains in place after initial assessments show the SpaceX explosion, which was 1.1 miles away, did not do any damage.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement saying he was “deeply disappointed” to hear the launch failure had destroyed their satellite.
“…our satellite that would have provided connectivity to do many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent,” reads part of his statement.
The satellite was intended to help Facebook spread internet service in Africa.