CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – SpaceX says a massive explosion has destroyed one of its rockets during a routine test for a weekend launch. A satellite aboard the rocket was also destroyed.
SpaceX says there were no injuries.
The company was conducting a test firing of its unmanned Falcon rocket when the blast occurred. In a statement, SpaceX says “there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload.” It didn’t provide any details.
The blast shook buildings several miles away.
The rocket was to be launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It was supposed to hoist an Israeli communications satellite.
It’s the same kind of SpaceX rocket used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The loss is a major setback for NASA’s plans for future cargo hauls and, ultimately, astronaut flights.
SpaceX is one of two companies NASA uses to ship supplies to the space station.