Mark Zuckerberg ‘disappointed’ by SpaceX explosion, loss of Africa satellite

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In the wake of the SpaceX Falcon 9 explosion that rocked Cape Canaveral yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a response on Facebook.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes at Cape Canaveral

Here’s something you don’t hear everyday. A Falcon 9 rocket developed and owned by private company SpaceX has reportedly exploded at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The incident occurred Wednesday around 3pm South African time. The rocket was reportedly resting on the launch pad prior to a test before bursting into flames. Read more…

The social networking giant had special interest in the Falcon 9, as it was carrying an Israeli-made satellite intended to be used in Facebook’s internet.org programme, bringing connectivity to the continent.

“As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent,” Zuckerberg explains.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was carrying a satellite Zuckerberg hoped would fuel the African entrepreneurial landscape

“Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.”

Aquila is Facebook’s solar-powered plane project, which also intends to beam internet connectivity to remote parts of Africa.

The AMOS-6 satellite on board the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, was to be leased by Facebook for six years once operational, and was worth a reported US$200-million.

Mark Zuckerberg is currently touring Africa, stopping over in Lagos, Nigeria earlier this week.

Andy Walker
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