The pad in question is Launch Complex 40, which is currently used to by SpaceX to launch their Falcon-9 rocket to deliver payloads into Earth orbit.
SpaceX have been issuing statements throughout the day;
“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the launch vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.”
|Video footage showing extensive damage to the Falcon-9 launch vehicle at the
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. credit: wftv.com
The 45th Space Wing at the Cape stated that the explosion, which occurred at approximately 9:07 a.m. as the rocket was being loaded with fuel.
“The anomaly originated around the upper stage oxygen tank and occurred during propellant loading of the vehicle.” –SpaceX statement
SpaceX, which was set to launch the Israel Aerospace Industries/Spacecom AMOS-6 communications satellite on Saturday, was conducting a static fire test on the vehicle today ahead of the launch.
A static fire test is conducted in the days prior to every Falcon launch in which the engines of the rocket are ignited to test its engines as well as other onboard systems, without the vehicle leaving the pad.
More to follow shortly..