Israeli satellite set to bring internet to rural Africa destroyed following explosion


An Israeli satellite that was integral to plans to bring high-speed internet to rural Africa has been destroyed following an explosion at Nasa’s Cape Canaveral launch complex.

A Space-X rocket that was meant to take the Israeli-made Amos-6 satellite – part-funded by Facebook - into orbit exploded during a launchpad test on Thursday.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post from Nairobi, where he was meeting local officials: “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.”

The plan to provide internet access to sub-Saharan Africa is part of Mr Zuckerberg’s initiative, which was launched in 2013. The broadband set to be delivered via the Amos-6 was to be the initiative’s first major breakthrough.

Mr Zuckerberg said that despite the setback, “we remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided”.

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