This day doesn't seem particularly great for Mark Zuckerberg and team. Earlier this morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad just before its launch. While speculations are on what happened and why we know that the company was doing a test which didn't work well and lead to the unintentional explosion. Luckily there were no casualties and the launch pad was clear, this incident is going to affect Facebook’s Internet.org effort in a big way as it’s satellite was also destroyed in the explosion.
This incidence was a real bummer for mark Zuckerberg and his facebook post for the day read as follows:
“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. 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.”
The whole project is backed by insurance companies. This failure might not hit the company financially but it is definitely going to affect it in more ways than one. Other than the satellite for internet.org, the spaceX rocket was also to launch an Eutelsat communication satellite called Amos-6 which was supposed to beam internet in large portions of Africa for Facebook.
The optimistic Mr. Zuckerberg still assures us of his intentions and other technologies like Aquila which are still rolling and helping him move forward in his mission to connect the world.
The contract between Facebook and Eutelsat holds that Facebook can terminate the contract if the satellite isn’t operational by January 1st. It shall be very interesting to see the company’s next move- a new satellite or dissolving of this contract.