Facebook’s Internet Satellite destroyed by SpaceX rocket explosion during launch preparations
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is visiting the country. Kenya is the second country he is visiting after Nigeria in his first ever trip to Africa.
Zuckerberg is in Kenya to see how technology innovation is changing the country, learn more about what mobile entrepreneurs are doing with the latest technology, and find out how Facebook can better support small businesses, developers and content creators across growing markets. One of his other top agenda during this visit was to witness on location the launch of SpaceX rocket carrying the company’s first internet satellite to be used by Facebook to bring internet access to Africa, the middle East, and Europe.
These efforts, however, suffered a significant setback on Thursday when the SpaceX rocket blew up during the launch preparations. The satellite was due for launch this Saturday.
Through a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg expressed his frustrations about the incidence saying ‘’ As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.’’
He, however, said that Facebook has developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. ‘’We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided,’’ he added.
No Injuries were reported as a result of the explosion. SpaceX described it as an ‘’anomaly.’’ According to SpaceX CEO, through a tweet, the explosion happened while the rocket was being fueled, but that the cause of the blast is still unknown.
Facebook launched Internet.org in 2013 as a way to bring internet services to India, Africa and other parts of the world with low levels of connectivity.
Below is footage from the explosion: