Unmanned NASA rocket explodes during takeoff; no injuries reported

NOTE: A link to video from the explosion is included at the end of the article.

Pulse Staff Report

An unmanned NASA Antares cargo rocket traveling to the International Space Station exploded and crashed shortly after liftoff Tuesday evening in Virginia.

The launch took place at the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va. Just six seconds after lifting off, the Orbital Science-owned rocket experienced an “anomaly” and crashed back down on the launch site, exploding and bursting into flames.

“It is far too early to know the details of what happened,” said Frank Culbertson, the Orbital Science Corps Executive Vice President. “We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of the failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident.”

Mission Control reported that all personnel associated with the launch are accounted for, and that no injuries have been reported. Pulse Social Media manager Ally Coonradt, who was an attendee of the launch, is safe and was evacuated with the other attendees from their viewing site approximately two miles from the launch.

Firefighters were at the site of the launch working to stop the flames. Damage to the site and its vehicles has been reported as “significant”.

“We’ve all seen this happen in our business before and we’ve all seen teams recover from this and we will do the same,” Culbertson added.

The mission was to be Orbital Science’s third resupply mission to the International Space Station. The rocket was carrying 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments. There are no repercussions expected for the crew, as they already have supplies to last them into the next year.

The launch had been moved back a day due to a boat in the range of the rocket’s launch trajectory.

 

Below is the link to a video of the explosion taken by the Pulse’s Ally Coonradt, who was observing from a viewing site approximately two miles away from the launch. She and the other attendees were evacuated safely.

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  1. Messiah College News - Messiah College News Archive » The Pulse’s Ally Coonradt attends Antares rocket launch and explosion - October 31, 2014

    […] The Pulse’s “Unmanned NASA rocket explodes during takeoff” (This link also includes firsthand video captured from the media viewing […]

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