- Video: NASA
SMADE (Oct. 28 2014) | A NASA unmanned Space Rocket explode seconds after liftoff. The rocket was operated by Orbital Sciences Corporation; the launch used Orbital’s Antares CRS-3 rockets and was the 3rd of eight missions launch. Operated as MISSION ORB-3 on behalf of NASA to bring the Cygnus Spacecraft; cargo and other supplies to Astronaut workers aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The rocket took off from the NASA Launchpad station in Wallops Island, Virginia Tuesday night at 6:22 P.M ET and about 6 seconds into the flight, the rockets exploded. Orbital Sciences Corp. release a tweet after the incident. That reads "a vehicle anomaly. We will update as soon as we are able." Orbital Sciences later release a press release on the incident (see press release below). Although this was the 3rd flight to deliver cargo and the 3rd flight operated by Orbital Antares CRS-3 rocket; it was the first time Orbital Sciences used it's upgraded Castor 30XL second stage motor, which gives the rocket a greater MTOW (Maximum Takeoff Weight).
Orbital Sciences said that everyone was accounted for and only the facility sustained damages, they also said that the cargo was not super important. The Antares rocket was to launch the Cygnus spacecraft into space along with 4,483 pounds of equipment, including 1,360 pounds of food and would have docked at the ISS on November 2nd. The Cygnus Spacecraft was also to be used in two studies. A study to enable the first space-based observation of meteors entering the Earth-Atmosphere; students were then to record and investigate the effects of microgravity in plant growth and rates of milk spoilage in space and a study to determine how blood flows from the brain to the heart in the absence of gravity.
NASA also released a press release statement on the incidents:
“While NASA is disappointed that Orbital Sciences' third contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station was not successful today, we will continue to move forward toward the next attempt once we fully understand today's mishap. The crew of the International Space Station is in no danger of running out of food or other critical supplies.
“Orbital has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in its first two missions to the station earlier this year, and we know they can replicate that success. Launching rockets is an incredibly difficult undertaking, and we learn from each success and each setback. Today's launch attempt will not deter us from our work to expand our already successful capability to launch cargo from American shores to the International Space Station.”
Currently Virgin ( Virgin Galactic) and Google are two companies pioneering human space travel; during last week, Google Executive Alan Eustace, set the skydiving record for the highest attitude jump; the jump took place just outside of Roswell, New Mexico. Alan Eustace was able to jump from 136,000-foot descent and achieving speeds of Mach 1.23, or 822 MPH, or 722 Knots. Alan Eustace made the jump in order to test spacesuits to be used for space travel.
The rocket was originally set to be launch on Monday, October 27 (last night) but was pulled back because a boat was too close to the hazard zone. NASA reported that the boat was about 26 feet long entered the hazard zone early in the launch count. The Hazard Zone for the launch of the Antares Rocket is about 1,400 square miles off the coast of Wallops Island.
Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares 130 CRS-3 Rocket Explosion in Pictures
- Photo: NASA