Rocket Bound for ISS Explodes Shortly After Launch

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Rocket Bound for ISS Explodes Shortly After Launch

Unmanned rocket bound for ISS explodes just seconds after launch.

An Antares unmanned rocket, bound for the International Space Station, exploded just after lift-off only minutes ago.

The rocket was contracted by NASA, and the design, launch, and logistics were all handled by the rocket's manufacturer, Orbital Sciences Corporation. This would have been the fourth trip made to the ISS by an unmanned Antares rocket, which has made three successful launches and dockings with the station since September 2013 (with its inaugural test launch, flight was in April 2013). The launch took place at the Wallops Island, Virginia-based Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

NASA spokesperson Jay Bolden has confirmed there was no loss of life in the explosion, but "there was significant property and vehicle damage," due to the explosion. The cause of the explosion has yet to be determined.

The 2.5 tons worth of cargo on board the Antares rocket included science experimentation hardware, crew supplies, vehicle/station hardware, and spacewalking supplies. The full gear list can be seen here.

Orbital Sciences Corporation is one of two contractors signed with NASA to conduct ISS missions; the other is Elon Musk's SpaceX Corporation.

Sources: Brad Panovich (YouTube) | CNN | Gizmodo

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"Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light..."

In all seriousness, that's fortunate that no one got hurt. But does the crew on the ISS have enough supplies to make it till the next rocket?

Might be a good thing they decided to hold off the launch yesterday because of a boat being in the trajectory if the rocket went bad, which apparently it did. Sucks though that all the money spent was essentially wasted.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Might be a good thing they decided to hold off the launch yesterday because of a boat being in the trajectory if the rocket went bad, which apparently it did. Sucks though that all the money spent was essentially wasted.

Not true. We got a pretty explosion to look at.

Jsan the Candyman:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Might be a good thing they decided to hold off the launch yesterday because of a boat being in the trajectory if the rocket went bad, which apparently it did. Sucks though that all the money spent was essentially wasted.

Not true. We got a pretty explosion to look at.

Maybe, but I'm just glad no one died. Also looking at the footage again, looks like there was a leak or hole on the side about halfway up the rocket.

Wow I sure hope the ISS crew wasn't in dire need of those supplies cause that'll suck.

I hope they have some grade A insurance.
I'm wondering, does the ISS have some form of exit plan if they run out of supplies or some other "mishap"?

Wow, that was super depressing to watch. Hopefully the people aboard the ISS can make do with the supplies for another while.

Dalek Caan:
Wow, that was super depressing to watch. Hopefully the people aboard the ISS can make do with the supplies for another while.

I found it quite entertaining myself, glad that no-one was hurt though. Rocket/launch pad etc can all be replaced, a person cannot.
I believe the ISS is setup with contingency plans, from what I recall reading they usually have a surplus so that if a launch is delayed it wont cause issues. I suspect they'll just bring the next launch forward or ask ESA/JSA/Russian Space Agency to send some supplies up if required.

Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

Glad no one was killed, that would have made it a hell of a lot worse.

As it stands I'm sure the company can recover, and I hope they do.

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

Obama cut funding from NASA, so now we have to hitch a ride with the Russians to go into space, and outsource the building of the rockets we down decide to build.

First of all, it's good that nobody was hurt during this. I hope that OSC can recover from this, as I feel that we need these corporations right now to help bring about the next space age.

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

This is one of the new US 'low budget' rocket launch companies and a rival to SpaceX which bought 40 year old rockets from Russia and refurbished them. The Russian's said your insane to use them, SpaceX said it's like a bad joke while the US government shouted SAVINGS!.

P-89 Scorpion:

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

This is one of the new US 'low budget' rocket launch companies and a rival to SpaceX which bought 40 year old rockets from Russia and refurbished them. The Russian's said your insane to use them, SpaceX said it's like a bad joke while the US government shouted SAVINGS!.

then proceed to waste the money on more military.

OT:sense none got hurt it's a nice firework and I hope the iss can hold out.

P-89 Scorpion:

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

This is one of the new US 'low budget' rocket launch companies and a rival to SpaceX which bought 40 year old rockets from Russia and refurbished them. The Russian's said your insane to use them, SpaceX said it's like a bad joke while the US government shouted SAVINGS!.

Mate you made me laugh my ass off, thank you for making my day :-)

I'm impressed at how calm the guy stays while watching the thing unfold. No gasp, no shout, just silence and then directions.

Sniper Team 4:
I'm impressed at how calm the guy stays while watching the thing unfold. No gasp, no shout, just silence and then directions.

I'd imagine it'd be a very different situation had there been people on board, thank goodness there wasn't though.

And since no one died...WE CAN MAKE JOKE!!!!

Take it away, Steve!

Suddenly North Korea's shitty rocket program doesn't look so bad.

P-89 Scorpion:

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

This is one of the new US 'low budget' rocket launch companies and a rival to SpaceX which bought 40 year old rockets from Russia and refurbished them. The Russian's said your insane to use them, SpaceX said it's like a bad joke while the US government shouted SAVINGS!.

Well no wonder. That's hilarious.

That's the American capitalist system at work. Fortunately we still have Boeing and SpaceX that NASA can depend on and have a better track record for these kinds of things.

What the fuck guys? This isn't rocket sci... oh wait...

[/obligatory]

But, yeah, considering the current track record, an incident like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Better now (and on earth) than later (or in orbit where the pieces will float pretty much forever as space junk)...

P-89 Scorpion:

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

This is one of the new US 'low budget' rocket launch companies and a rival to SpaceX which bought 40 year old rockets from Russia and refurbished them. The Russian's said your insane to use them, SpaceX said it's like a bad joke while the US government shouted SAVINGS!.

Which is utterly ridiculous in my opinion. You'd think the government would be able to look at the past (back when NASA and Soviet Russia were busy exploding money) and learn that $1000+$5000+explosion= -$6000 while $5000+$5000+success= uh, cookies? Look, you get the idea.

OT: Loved the commentary. You could practically hear the collective mental "Oh, damn it." in the silence when the rocket blew.

The Commonwealth of Polystralia would never have allowed such to happen to so vital equipment and supplies.

Clearly the A.R.C.'s obsession with the bottom line has blinded them as to what true success means.

P-89 Scorpion:

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

This is one of the new US 'low budget' rocket launch companies and a rival to SpaceX which bought 40 year old rockets from Russia and refurbished them. The Russian's said your insane to use them, SpaceX said it's like a bad joke while the US government shouted SAVINGS!.

It's a huge red flag when even russians say it's too dangerous to use them.

Thankfully the ISS has enough supplies to last into March, so it isn't critical for the people on the station yet. Hopefully this stops NASA from contracting companies that use rockets from the 60's. Seriously, the Antares used modified NK-33 soviet rocket engines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NK-33#Antares

Abomination:
The Commonwealth of Polystralia would never have allowed such to happen to so vital equipment and supplies.

Clearly the A.R.C.'s obsession with the bottom line has blinded them as to what true success means.

Hey now, I have launched dozens of satellites with no problem! Of course maybe that's because we are replacing our frail and stupid organic parts for the far superior perfection of steel and circuits...

Callate:
Why are we still so bad at this?

Well, for one thing, a rocketship consists almost entirely of explosives.

Keiichi Morisato:
Obama cut funding from NASA...

Heh. Republicans demand budget cuts and privatization, then blame the results on Democrats. Over and over and over again.

Well there goes a few million dollars. At least it was pretty to watch...

To those wondering in the thread if the ISS will be okay without the supplies, yes. There are reserves and backups. And if worse comes to worse, the crew can leave at any time on one of the Soyuz capsules they keep around in case of emergency.

And yes, I'm bitter about NASA's budget getting cut. Every year.

gamegod25:

Abomination:
The Commonwealth of Polystralia would never have allowed such to happen to so vital equipment and supplies.

Clearly the A.R.C.'s obsession with the bottom line has blinded them as to what true success means.

Hey now, I have launched dozens of satellites with no problem! Of course maybe that's because we are replacing our frail and stupid organic parts for the far superior perfection of steel and circuits...

Have you upgraded to the latest iDrone 8? I find their marketing really hasn't been able to keep up with the head start Android got.

Gatlank:
It's a huge red flag when even russians say it's too dangerous to use them.

That really needs to be the litmus test of what's beyond safety standards. If a Russian is telling you something is a bad idea because it's unsafe it's probably because you were about to river dance through a mine field.

A shame but i guess this is what happens when you get the cheapest bidder to build your rocket. Main thing is nobody was hurt. It just shows we do need to work on a system without a huge ass rocket, the problem is the speed you need to reach escape velocity not an easy or cheap task.

The guys up there should be fine they do have backups.

Abomination:

Gatlank:
It's a huge red flag when even russians say it's too dangerous to use them.

That really needs to be the litmus test of what's beyond safety standards. If a Russian is telling you something is a bad idea because it's unsafe it's probably because you were about to river dance through a mine field.

Hey, you're exaggerating.
While in general you're right, such attitude is dropped when dealing with space programs.
If anything russian rocket scientists are more pessimistic than others.

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

Because despite all the technology, the science and the equipment, we are still essentially sending a metal cylinder into space with fireworks.

I know its more complicated then that but we're just really bad when it comes to explosives

It is horrible that the first thing I thought when I saw it explode is:

"Esc"
"Revert Flight"
"Revert to Vehicle Assembly Building"

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

Because it's really hard? Like, it's literally rocket science.

moggett88:

Callate:
Well, three out of four isn't...

No, scratch that. When it comes to sending multi-million dollar rockets into outer space, three out of four is pretty damn terrible. Why are we still so bad at this?

Because it's really hard? Like, it's literally rocket science.

And rockets are made up of a whooooole lot of parts. NASA specs are high, yes, but nothing ever works as planned, and even a tiny failure rate means hundreds, if not thousands, of failing parts.

I didn't properly fact check this so take it with a grain of salt, but I remember reading the Saturn V rocket, the one that got us to the moon, had about a million components, which means a 0.1% failure rate means 1000 parts failing. Whether or not advances in technology has led to more or fewer components I don't know, but still, that's a lot of parts.

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