News broke this morning that a Falcon 9 rocket due to launch later this weekend exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
— Zora Suleman (@ZoraSuleman) September 1, 2016
There are few details known at this point, but early reports say the failure occurred leading up to a static fire test, in which the rocket’s motors are fired while the vehicle is clamped down to the pad. Some tweets have indicated the explosion took place during a “catastrophic abort” of the test.
Here is SpaceX’s initial comment on the accident:
SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.
This is the second failure SpaceX has seen in 14 months.
The payload for this weekend’s launch was a $200 million Internet.org satellite.
Update: US Launch Report has published video of the accident.