The incident happened during testing, most likely a static fire test in preparation for its launch. The rocket was slated to launch at 3 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, Sept. 3, midnight Friday Pacific time. It was set to carry Facebook’s first satellite for Internet access in Africa into space. NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning.
**** UPDATE *****
Here is an up close video of the explosion as it happened. Video by USLaunchReport
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 1, 2016
Here’s the view from the livestream showing Space Launch Complex 40. pic.twitter.com/iJ0AeWiA1u
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) September 1, 2016
Wow, SpaceX rocket just blew up on pad. Shook our whole bldg. pic.twitter.com/PMxZA4v4IV
— SpaceCoastTiger (@TigernBear) September 1, 2016