Facebook’s Internet.org satellite has been damaged in an explosion


This post has been updated

While in Nigeria, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be launching a satellite into space before the week runs out to enable entrepreneurs in Africa sell Express WiFi and get more people online.

According to TechCrunch, the satellite has been damaged few hours ago during a test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

No lives were lost in the explosion, however the rocket and its payload were destroyed.

The rocket was scheduled to launch into space on September 3 2016, carrying Facebook’s first satellite into space with it.

Specifically, the rocket was to launch the Amos-6 communication satellite, which will enable Facebook beam Internet for its Internet.org initiative.

TechCrunch stated that Facebook and France-based satellite provider Eutelsat had spent US$95 million to secure a five year lease on the satellite’s Ka-band communication array.

UPDATE 1: Mark Zuckerberg, presently in Kenya, has confirmed the damage of the satellite, expressing his disappointment. According to Mark, the satellite was set to provide connectivity to numerous entrepreneurs and basically everyone on the continent.

UPDATE 2: Mark assured that despite this setback, people would still be connected to the Internet because it has other technologies in place such as Aquila, which was tested a while back.

Source: TechCrunch

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