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SpaceX

Smoke rises from a SpaceX launch site Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, at Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA said SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when a blast occurred.
Marcia Dunn / AP Photo

This story was updated at 12:37 a.m.

A massive explosion erupted at a SpaceX launch pad Thursday during a routine rocket test for a planned launch of a communications satellite.

There were no injuries, but the rocket and the satellite onboard were destroyed, SpaceX said in a statement.

Courtesy of Rob Felt/Georgia Tech

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. In 1958, the United States followed with Explorer 1.

Today, there are more than 1,000 of these large satellites revolving around the Earth sending radio signals back to us, which get converted into pictures of the oceans, weather forecasts and even DISH TV.

Many of these satellites are the size of a 7,000-pound hippo and can take decades to design and build.

SpaceX finally made good on its delivery of a space station docking port Wednesday morning.

A Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station, bearing more than 2 tons of supplies. The shipment includes a docking port needed for future rocket ships. SpaceX is working on a crew-worthy Dragon, while Boeing is developing a capsule for astronauts named Starliner.

John Raoux / Associated Press

This story has been updated to reflect a new deadline.

The Federal Aviation Administration is studying a proposal for a private spaceport on the Georgia coast. The Camden County Spaceport would be a facility where companies like SpaceX could launch rockets.

One of the first steps in the permitting process is an environmental review. The deadline for the public to submit questions about the impact of the project is Jan. 18.

John Raoux / Associated Press

SpaceX sent a Falcon rocket soaring toward orbit Monday night with 11 small satellites, its first mission since an accident last summer. Then in an even more astounding feat, it landed the 15-story leftover booster back on Earth safely.

It was the first time an unmanned rocket returned to land vertically at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and represented a tremendous success for SpaceX. The company led by billionaire Elon Musk is striving for reusability to drive launch costs down and open up space to more people.

"Welcome back, baby!" Musk tweeted after touchdown.

NASA hopes to resume commercial shipments this week to the International Space Station, following months of frustrating delay.

The last successful U.S. supply run was in April.

An unmanned Atlas V rocket arrived at its Cape Canaveral, Florida, launch pad Wednesday. It's due to lift off Thursday with 7,400 pounds of station supplies. Shipper Orbital ATK considers it an early Christmas present for the crew.