A massive fireball and explosion erupted Thursday at SpaceX's main launch pad, destroying a rocket as well as a satellite that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa.
Here’s a look at the blast.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
There were no injuries. The pad had been cleared of workers before what was supposed to be a routine pre-launch rocket test.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the accident occurred during the fueling of the rocket and originated around the upper-stage oxygen tank.
"Cause still unknown," Musk said via Twitter. "More soon."
The explosion — heard and felt for miles around — dealt a severe blow to SpaceX, still scrambling to catch up with satellite deliveries following a launch accident last year. It's also a setback for NASA, which has been relying on the private company to keep the International Space Station stocked with supplies and, ultimately, astronauts.
- The Associated Press contributed to this story