A rocket operated by the aerospace company SpaceX has exploded on the launch [15 Down] at Cape Canaveral where it was [5 Across] test-fired ahead of a launch.
The force of the blast [13 Down] buildings several miles away.
SpaceX said “an anomaly” had occurred [11 Across] the rocket was being loaded with [4 Down]. No-one was injured, it said.
The rocket’s payload, an Israeli-built communications [8 Down] for Facebook due to launch on Saturday, was also destroyed, it added.
Facebook, in partnership with Eutelsat Communications, had been [1 Down] to use the Amos-6 satellite to deliver broadband [3 Down] coverage for swathes of sub-Saharan [12 Down] as part of its Internet.org initiative.
Facebook [4 Across] Mark Zuckerberg, who is currently [9 Down] Africa, said he was “deeply disappointed” to hear that the satellite had [5 Down] destroyed.
“We [2 Down] committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided,” he [10 Across] on his Facebook account.
A leading Israeli space [16 Across] said the [7 Across] of the Amos-6 satellite, [6 Across] at more than $200m (£150m) and [17 Across] by Spacecom, was a major [14 Down] to the industry.