What we know:
—SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded Thursday in Cape Canaveral, Florida, days before a scheduled launch. The spaceflight company said in a statement the explosion was due to “an anomaly on the pad.”
—The destruction of the crewless rocket, which was due to launch a satellite this weekend, occurred during a “propellant fill operation,” said Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX.
—We’re live-blogging the major developments. All updates are in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4).
Footage of the explosion has been posted on YouTube—and it’s quite dramatic:
More details from Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX:
Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2016
SpaceX released a statement about the explosion Thursday morning:
SpaceX says there was no one on the launch pad at the time of the explosion:
Bryan Purtell, a representative for the 45th Space Wing, the US Air Force unit that commands the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, told The Verge: “There are no known casualties. There’s no threat to public safety and our emergency management teams are on site responding.”
Brevard County, Florida, home to Cape Canaveral, says there is no threat to the public:
There is NO threat to general public from catastrophic abort during static test fire at SpaceX launch pad at CCAFS this morning.— Brevard EOC (@BrevardEOC) September 1, 2016
Here’s video of smoke billowing after the apparent explosion.
NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning. pic.twitter.com/Bc7kNiq6E0— WESH 2 News (@WESH) September 1, 2016
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded Thursday on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as it was being test fired, the AP is reporting, citing NASA.
The rocket was scheduled to launch a satellite this weekend.
This is a developing story that we’ll update as we learn more.