The company behind the dramatic launch explosion of a space station supply mission promises to find the cause of the failure and is warning residents to avoid any potentially hazardous wreckage, The Associated Press reported. Orbital Sciences Corp.’s unmanned Antares rocket blew up just moments after liftoff Tuesday evening from the Virginia coast. The two-stage Antares rocket was powered by engines from Aerojet-General Corp. in Rancho Cordova, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Here’s raw video of the explosion.
Here’s a view from a nearby aircraft.
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Meanwhile, early Wednesday, the Russian Space Agency launched its own cargo vessel from Kazakhstan and the spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station six hours later with 3 tons of food. The smooth flight was in stark contrast to the Orbital Sciences’ failed launch, and had been planned well in advance of the accident.
The Orbital Sciences rocket was carrying a Cygnus capsule loaded with 2½ tons of space station experiments and equipment for NASA. No one was injured when the rocket exploded moments after liftoff, shooting flaming debris down onto the launch area and into the ocean.