Elon Musk says astronauts would have been safe in the blast

SpaceX said it has not determined how much damage the explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket did to the launchpad at Cape Canaveral Thursday.

Elon Musk's SpaceX will shift its Florida flights to a almost completed second site, after its launch pad sustained damage when an unmanned rocket exploded at Cape Canaveral. The explosion sent debris falling back onto the launch site. On Wednesday, it said it had signed its first customer to use a previously flown Falcon 9 rocket, but that launch was not due until later this year.

It says in a report by BBC News, the rocket's payload was an Israeli-built communications satellite for Facebook. On June 28, 2015, a Falcon 9 broke apartless than 3 minutes after launching SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo capsule on a resupply mission toward the International Space Station for NASA. The SpaceX Rocket has exploded on September 1, 2016.

After an investigation of that incident, Musk said that the company believed the rocket disintegrated after a small steel band purchased from a subcontractor snapped under pressure.

"We are disappointed by the loss but remain committed to our mission of connecting people to the Internet around the world", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

The Falcon 9, developed by SpaceX with NASA financing, had had previous problems.

In the same tweet in which Musk asserted that astronauts would be saved from Falcon's destruction on Thursday, he also denied that the blast that destroyed the rocket and the satellite was an explosion.

SpaceX, whose full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corp., charges at least $62 million for each launch.

Zuckerberg by coincidence was in Africa when the news broke. Alphabet, Google's parent company, has launched and tested balloons that fly 60,000 feet in the air and beam Internet connectivity to the areas below. "To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often hard and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies", Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post last October announcing the satellite initiative.

For instance, French satellite company Eutelsat requires SpaceX to conduct engine tests without its satellite attached, spokeswoman Vanessa O'Connor told CNNMoney on Friday.

Still, the setback will delay Facebook's ambitious plans and even more ambitious timetable.

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