As reported earlier, there has been a tragic and sudden turn of events as a SpaceX Falcon 9 exploded while being tested for launch on coming Saturday. The humongous explosion, not only shook the entire neighborhood, but also resulted in loss of both the rocket booster and the satellites it was meant to launch. The good news is that the whole big blast thing did not cause injury to any staff personnel.
But, this unfortunate turn of events adversely affects Facebook-run Internet.org — an affordable Internet services program for less developed countries. The $200 million satellite destroyed in the explosion was AMOS-6, a communications satellite that would have been used to provide internet connectivity to about 14 African countries.
And well, this loss has ‘deeply disappointed’ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is currently on a trip of multiple cities in Africa. You can easily imagine his frustration with legendary innovator and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, whose rocket launcher blast destroyed the satellite — a part of his ambitious plan to connect everyone in the world.
Musk, however, has tweeted some initial analysis of the blast and said that it originated somewhere in the upper stage oxygen tank. We are still short on details and the exact cause of the explosion, but the problem could have arisen during propellant fill operation.
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
The insurance companies, as one expects, will pay out the full amount for today’s blast but it delays the progress that the social networking giant had made till date. This kind of project is quite comprehensive and one cannot rebuild a communication satellite overnight. This will definitely lead to a delay in Internet.org rollout.
Zuckerberg shared the above message on his personal Facebook account, taking a jab at fellow entrepreneur Elon Musk. He doesn’t fail to mention that the loss of his satellite was due to SpaceX’s pre-launch testing failure — which is true.
But, ultimately he also mentions that Facebook is working a diversified set of technologies that are competent of delivering internet to remote areas of the world. This includes the giant solar-powered drones Aquila, which also took its first successful flight recently. And Zuckerberg could also go ahead and ask his engineers to speedily setup the terrestrial antenna project for immediate connectivity.
Though two of the biggest tech giant have tasted failure at the hands of a blast, but Zuckerberg is still adamant about his ambition of connecting more people to the internet(and ultimately, Facebook). And Elon Musk, as we all know, wouldn’t give up without realizing his dream of reaching(or settling) on Mars.