An unmanned Orbital Sciences rocket carrying more than 5,000 pounds of supplies meant for the International Space Station has exploded seconds after launching in Virginia.
The Antares rocket known as Orbital CRS-3 exploded into a massive ball of flames six seconds after launch due to a “vehicle anomaly,” the company said in a tweet. The failure occurred shortly after its 6:22 p.m. EDT launch from the Wallops Flight Facility.
“There was failure on launch. There was no indicated loss of life,” NASA spokesman Jay Bolden told CNN, though he did say there was “significant property and vehicle damage.”
Orbital Sciences is one of two companies (the other is SpaceX) NASA is using to haul supplies to the ISS, according to Reuters. This latest flight was its third of eight planned under a $US1.9 billion contract with the space agency.
Via Ars Technica:
The mission, termed Orb-3 by the company, will be delivering 2,300 kg of cargo, including supplies, equipment, and scientific experiments. Those will be carried in the Cygnus spacecraft, which is currently sitting atop an Antares launch vehicle. The second stage of Antares is a solid rocket, and this mission will mark the first use of a larger second stage, which will allow the company to carry more supplies in the future.
Here’s the video:
Here is what the rocket looked like four minutes before launch:
This story is developing.
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