SpaceX Explosion Destroys Facebook Satellite

Sep 01, 2016 at 5:24 PM ET

On Thursday morning, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a routine engine check in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The fireball totaled the rocket, natch, but it also took with it a Facebook satellite that was designed to provide better internet access to people in Africa. On one hand, this is a huge bummer for Facebook and the other proprietors of the $200 million worth of equipment aboard the rocket. On the other hand, massive fireball consumes unmanned rocket. Never not cool.

According to media reports, smoke plumes from the explosion were visible at the Kennedy Space Center, several miles away from the launch site. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, but SpaceX is investigating.

Elon Musk’s rocket explodes and ruins one of Mark Zuckerberg’s satellites. Is there a more 2016-zeitgeist headline? Probably not.