Unmanned Antares Rocket Explodes After Liftoff
An unmanned rocket exploded shortly after takeoff Tuesday evening on Virginia’s eastern shore. Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket was carrying thousands of pounds of equipment to restock the International Space Station.
Teams of investigators were out at daybreak Wednesday examining damage to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility after an unmanned rocket exploded shortly after launch on the Virginia coast, NASA spokeswoman Rachel Kraft told CNN via email. NASA is warning people in the area not to touch debris if they find any.
The Antares rocket, built by NASA contractor Orbital Sciences Corp., and its Cygnus cargo spacecraft “suffered a catastrophic failure” shortly after liftoff Tuesday evening, the company said. The crash caused a huge fire and scattered debris over a large area.
The cargo module was carrying 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments meant for the International Space Station. Although this is quite common for these explosions to happen, it is definitely a setback for NASA and private spaceflight.
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