02 September 2016 at 1:32 GMT
A SpaceX rocket blew up on a launchpad in Florida, marking the second loss of a spacecraft by Elon Musk’s venture in a little more than a year and hobbling a Facebook Inc. initiative to spread internet access across Africa. The accident occurred Thursday at Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 40 as SpaceX held a dress rehearsal for Saturday’s planned launch of an Israeli communications satellite. Both the Falcon 9 rocket and its payload were incinerated as fireballs scorched the structure. The blast was a reminder of the peril inherent in space flight, which relies on controlled explosions to power payloads to orbit. But it wasn’t expected to dent Musk’s effort to shake up the staid launch industry or dim his goal of one day colonising Mars.
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