UPDATE: The possibility of sabotage didn’t occur to me for over a day, mostly because my opinion of SPACE X and its founder and their high level of arrogance (which is toxic in the launch business) made me think this was a screw-up related to their use of a super-dense/cold LOX oxidizer. But after being asked about it a few times, I’m ashamed to admit this might be an obvious explosive device.
Note the flash at the 2nd stage. Neither liquid oxygen nor RP-1 (kerosene) can possibly flash like that (unless mixed) from a mere spark or other defect. Something exploded big that had nothing to do with the fueling going on in preparation for the engine test still 3 minutes out. It was only after things started falling apart that there was enough propellant mixing to destroy the pad. The initial explosion is highly suspicious. And the Israeli payload? Hmmm. Has ISIS taken credit for this yet?
ORIGINAL STORY: Scott Manley, Astronomer, Scotsman, Hacker, Gamer and Sound Dude, actually has a pretty good rundown on what happened to the unfortunate Space X Falcom 9 rocket and its Israeli communications satellite and the *very* unlucky Pad 40 at CCAFS yesterday.
Here’s a quick 3 minute RT video showing the explosion with no commentary.