BUSINESS

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.

Read more: SpaceX explosion frustrates both Elon Musk's and Mark Zuckerberg's plans

      Israeli satellite was meant to further Facebook's Internet plan

      Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg speaks in February. (Manu Fernadez / Associated Press)
      Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg speaks in February. (Manu Fernadez / Associated Press)

      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.

       

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