An unmanned supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded in a giant fireball on Tuesday evening. The rocket went up in flames shortly after its launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment were aboard. The equipment ranged from “classified cryptographic” gear, to various testing devices and school science experiments. Technicians working for the private space transport services company, Orbital Sciences Corp, were forced to detonate a self-destruct mechanism six seconds after launch because of “catastrophic” equipment failure on the Antares rocket.
Below are videos of the incident.
Footage from NASA’s official video stream of the launch:
(Source: Brad Panovich)
Amateur footage taken from the ground:
(Source: Markov Maniac)
The explosions seen from a Cessna 177 Cardinal flying at 3000 ft:
(Source: Ed Sealing)
That looks like a pretty awful explosion. Thank goodness no one was hurt.