An unmanned commercial rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station exploded shortly after lift-off at 6:22 pm EDT Tuesday over the launch complex at Wallops Island, Virginia. NASA’s live feed shows the rocket bursting into flame.
NASA TV reports that all personnel are OK and uninjured, and the launch team reported no problems on takeoff.
The Cygnus cargo ship was carrying 5,000 pounds of gear for the six astronauts on the ISS. NASA reports it was the third Cygnus ship bound for the space station in the last year. This is the first disaster for the cargo ship line.
Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, NASA has paid Virginia-based Orbital Sciences and California-based SpaceX for ships to resupply the space station.