NASA’s Antares rocket explodes seconds after lift-off

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A private space shuttle operated by NASA has burst into flames shortly after take-off this evening just above Virginia in the USA. The shuttle, which departed from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, was carrying over 2,200 kilograms of food and tools to the International Space Station (ISS). Along with the supplies, the shuttle was also carrying the Arkyd-3 satellite, a large asteroid prospecting satellite. The current damage caused has not been financially assessed.

The explosion occurred a mere six seconds after thruster ignition. There are no human casualties or deaths reported, but a NASA spokesperson said that the project has suffered “significant property and vehicle damage”. All staff at the Wallops base are safe and have been accounted for.

The current cause of the explosion is unknown, but, in a press release to CNN, a NASA spokesperson said that the team did not receive any warning signals from the craft and are currently treating it as a ‘catastrophic anomaly’.

More on the story as it develops.

                                                                                                         via NASA TV/Buzzfeed News

Dylan Lynch

Dylan is an SF Medicinal Chemist studying at Trinity College Dublin, and is the Science & Technology Editor.