SpaceX was fueling its Falcon 9 rocket booster ahead of its planned launch in two days when catastrophe struck: A flash, a boom and a massive fireball. The spectacular explosion on the launch pad in Florida was quickly followed by secondary blasts.
The billowing black smoke could be seen for miles.
Radar tracked the explosion and subsequent plume of smoke.
SpaceX’s next launch was supposed to be on Saturday, September 3, with a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Israeli communications satellite Amos-6 into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
The satellite would have provided broadband internet coverage to sub-Saharan Africa, as part of an initiative spearheaded by Facebook.