A NASA TV image shows the Antares Rocket on the launch pad less than five minutes before the planned launch of the rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va. on Oct 28. NASA officials said no one was injured by the explosion.
The rocket lifted off just above its own height before an apparent explosion from its engines. The rocket shuddered, fell vertically back to the launch pad and blew up in a huge, orange fireball. The blastoff of the Antares rocket, operated by private company Orbital Sciences, started as scheduled at 6:22 pm. The spacecraft was filled with about 5,000 pounds of science experiments and provisions for the International Space Station.
NASA tweeted on its International Space Station feed that there had been an "accident 6 seconds after liftoff."
The unmanned rocket explodes in this still image from video shot from the press area.
Spectators watch as the rocket explodes.
During a post-accident news conference, Orbital's executive vice president said the rocket, the capsule and the cargo were valued at about $200 million, but that figure doesn't include the damage done to the Wallops launch pad and its surroundings.
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is rolled out to the launch pad at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia on Oct. 24.