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.
SpaceX designed the Falcon 9 rocket booster to be reusable and announced this week that it had signed its first customer to launch a satellite with a reused booster, but Thursday's explosion involved a Falcon 9 that had never been used before.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has estimated that reusing rockets could eventually cut launch costs 30%, but the Hawthorne company must prove that it can safely and reliably reuse rockets to fulfill its core mission to increase the frequency and lower the cost of launches.
In June 2015, a SpaceX rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station disintegrated over the Florida coast two minutes after liftoff. It too was a new rocket.