Skip to main content

Zuckerberg ‘deeply disappointed’ that SpaceX destroyed Facebook’s satellite

facebook quickly turns on safety check following deadly bombing in nigeria mark zuckerberg  ceo at 2
Image used with permission by copyright holder
He may be in Nigeria, but Mark Zuckerberg is keenly watching events unfold at home, in particular a mishap that has adversely impacted Facebook’s global internet ambitions.

On Thursday morning, SpaceX (the aerospace transport manufacturer founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk) suffered a huge setback when one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The accident — described by SpaceX as “an anomaly” that occurred during the fuel loading process — also resulted in the destruction of Facebook’s Amos-6 satellite, which was part of the company’s internet-serving venture.

Zuckerberg’s subsequent response to the explosion showed little sympathy for SpaceX, and Musk, instead focusing solely on Facebook’s loss. “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,” wrote Zuckerberg.

The Facebook founder’s tone became even more passive-aggressive when touting his own company’s tech, in particular its internet-serving drone. “Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well,” exclaimed Zuckerberg. “We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.”

Zuckerberg has reason to be upset, however, as the Amos-6 satellite marked the first step in Facebook’s plans to bring internet capability to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, according to SpaceNews. The satellite is estimated to have cost anywhere between $95 million and $200 million.

Will Zuckerberg’s comments result in a full-blown feud between the Facebook CEO and fellow billionaire Musk? It doesn’t seem likely at this stage. Musk has thus far only tweeted a paraphrased version of SpaceX’s original statement describing the origins of the explosion.

Saqib Shah
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Saqib Shah is a Twitter addict and film fan with an obsessive interest in pop culture trends. In his spare time he can be…
SpaceX loses Starlink satellites after geomagnetic storm
Starlink Satellites pass overhead near Carson National Forest, New Mexico, photographed soon after launch.

SpaceX has revealed that it could lose nearly all of the Starlink satellites that it launched last week after a geomagnetic storm disrupted their deployment.

The company said in a post on its website that a day after it deployed 49 Starlink internet satellites on Thursday, February 3, a geomagnetic storm struck Earth's outer atmosphere. The phenomenon, which occurs when the sun fires off solar flares, resulted in a change in atmospheric density that will cause "up to 40" of the satellites to imminently lose altitude and burn up.

Read more
SpaceX deploys more Starlink internet satellites in prep for premium service
A Starlink dish.

SpaceX launched 49 of its Starlink internet satellites to low-Earth orbit on Thursday.

The mission took place a day after news emerged that SpaceX is preparing a Starlink Premium broadband service on top of its standard service.

Read more
Watching a SpaceX booster landing never grows old, so here’s Wednesday’s
highlights spacex mission spy satellite nrol 87

Sandwiched between Monday’s satellite launch for the Italian Space Agency and Thursday’s launch of Starlink internet satellites, SpaceX on Wednesday undertook a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

Performing so many launches in such a short space of time used to be unheard of, but a busy schedule has always been SpaceX’s target as it utilizes its reusable rocket system for a range of companies and organizations seeking access to space.

Read more