Amateur footage shows the NASA rocket that exploded seconds after liftoff from the space agency’s launch pad Virginia on Tuesday night.
This is like have hundreds of millions of dollars blown up in an instant.
The unmanned Antares rocket was carrying 5,000 pounds of cargo bound for the International Space Station under a resupply contract with Orbital Sciences. Orbital is one of the two private companies that NASA has hired to ferry supplies into space. The other is SpaceX
In a statement, NASA said it is “disappointed” that the resupply mission — the third of eight under a $US1.9 billion contract — was not succesful. However, the agency still has five more contracted launches with Orbital Sciences, which will go forward as planned.
“The crew of the International Space Station is in no danger of running out of food or other critical supplies,” NASA said.
The mishap occurred just after 6:22 p.m. EDT at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. NASA officials said that damage to the area following the explosion was mostly contained, although there might be some scattered of debris.
Orbital has organised an investigation board to determine what caused the catastrophic failure.
“It is far too early to know the details of what happened,” Frank Culbertson, Orbital’s executive vice president and general manager said in a statement. “As soon as we understand the cause we will begin the necessary work to return to flight to support our customers and the nation’s space program.”
Roughly one-third of the cargo headed for the ISS was dedicated to science experiments, but there was also more then 1,500 pounds of crew equipment, food, and flight procedure books.
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