In a stunning new video, an unmanned rocket headed for the International Space Station (ISS) exploded mere seconds after launching. USA Today reports:
The Antares rocket supplied by contractor Orbital Sciences blew up six seconds after liftoff, NASA said.
NASA and Orbital Sciences were gathering data to determine the cause of the failure of the Orbital CRS-3, the space agency said.
"There has been a vehicle anomaly," Orbital Sciences, the contractor supplying the rocket, said on its Twitter feed.
The Cygnus cargo ship was loaded with 5,000 pounds of gear for the six people living on the space station. It was the fourth Cygnus bound for the orbiting lab; the first flew just over a year ago.
Among the cargo were more than a dozen student research projects, including an experiment from students at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston to test the performance of pea shoot growth in space.
NASA is paying the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences and the California-based SpaceX company to keep the space station stocked in the post-shuttle era. This is the first disaster in that effort.
No word yet on when a new mission will be planned to get the necessary cargo to ISS astronauts.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...