What we know:
- Elon Musk's SpaceX was fueling its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning.
- The company was preparing for a test firing, considered routine, in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
- The explosion destroyed the rocket and its payload: an Israeli satellite meant to be used in Facebook's effort to provide Internet service to poorly connected areas.
The Israeli commercial communications satellite that was set to launch Saturday at midnight aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was lost in Thursday morning's explosion.
The Amos-6 satellite was intended to provide services, including broadband Internet and video distribution to the Middle East, parts of Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Orlando Sentinel, it was the next step toward Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's effort to provide Internet service to poorly connected areas.
Satellite operator Space-Communication Ltd., based in Israel, operates the Amos satellite fleet.