BREAKING: Antares Rocket Explodes at Liftoff

Article Updated: 30 Dec , 2015

Seconds after liftoff, Orbital Science’s Antares rocket exploded as it rose from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. In video, the explosion appeared to come at the base of the rocket. The entire stack then fell back to the ground, with a second larger explosion.

According to NASA TV, there were no injuries reported at the launch site but there appears to be damage to the launch pad.

We’ll provide more information and updates as they become available. NASA and Orbital said they would be scheduling a news conference. Our Ken Kremer is on location at Wallops.

This is the first launch failure for NASA’s commercial space companies. Antares has had five successful launches. The launch was originally scheduled for Oct. 27 but was scrubbed when a boat entered restricted waters off the coast from the launch site.

The mission, was the third of eight Commercial Resupply Services missions that Orbital Sciences is under contract to NASA. The Cygnus capsule, named by Orbital the “SS Deke Slayton” after the late astronaut, was carrying 2,290 kilograms of cargo for the International Space Station.

This video was shot by journalist Matthew Travis at the press site at Wallops:

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4 Responses

  1. Zoutsteen says:

    Launchpad accommodation failure? the Vent was one big fuel collection waiting to ignite … side ways …. and back up (around second 5 of vid)

  2. Justin LG says:

    Something seemed irregular from that point (ignition of the first stage) and on.

  3. Buzz Parsec says:

    Pamela Gay was on BBC news at 11PM on Boston PBS station, as an expert interviewee. They didn’t give her enough time, though.

  4. paul585 says:

    looked like a blow back and it sounded rough on ignition.
    Still it was nice to see the press are still employing the brightest and the best to cover these events!

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