VIRGINIA (Oct. 28, 2014)– An unmanned NASA-contracted rocket exploded upon launch Tuesday.
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport were set to support the launch of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday.
The launch was a failure. The unmanned rocket exploded shortly after takeoff.
“There was failure on launch,” NASA spokesman Jay Bolden said. “There was no indicated loss of life.”
Bolden added, “There was significant property and vehicle damage. Mission control is trying to assess what went wrong.”
The Antares rocket was supposed to carry Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft, loaded with some 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments, to the International Space Station.
The launch had been scheduled for Monday, but that was scrubbed “because of a boat down range in the trajectory Antares would have flown had it lifted off,” according to NASA.
No injuries have been reported.