recommended reading

Unmanned NASA Rocket Explodes in Virginia

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard suffers a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard suffers a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch. // NASA/AP

The Antares Rocket, an unmanned NASA-contracted rocket launched from Wallops Island, Va., exploded early Tuesday night just after lifting off.

Here's video of what happened:

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion. The failed launch came just one day after NASA scrubbed an earlier scheduled launch due to a stray boat encroaching into the rocket's safety range.

The rocket, built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corporation, was headed to the International Space Station. NBC reports that this was to be Orbital Sciences' third official trip to ISS for NASA. The company has a $1.9 billion contract for eight delivery missions with the space agency.

The rocket was intended to deliver about 5,000 pounds of supplies to the space station. NASA's mission control center said there were no injuries and that all personnel had been accounted for following the explosion.

Orbital is calling the incident a "vehicle anomaly."

Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland had staff watching the launch.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Threatwatch Alert

Misplaced data

8 Million We Heart It Accounts and Passwords Exposed

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov