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Antares rocket explodes during launch 31.10.14

The unmanned rocket was bound for the International Space Station

Tuesday’s failed launch of the unmanned Antares rocket demonstrates that space travel is never routine. Antares, a 14-storey rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp, exploded seconds after leaving the seaside launch pad in the US state of Virginia. No one in the surrounding area was injured.

Orbital Sciences is one of two companies NASA hired to fly cargo to the station after the retirement of the space shuttles – this flight was due to be the third mission contracted from NASA. The rocket was due to carry nearly 2,200kgs of supplies to six astronauts aboard the International Space Station, but the crew are in no danger, with a 3-month buffer of supplies already on-board the Station, and a SpaceX launch scheduled for December. The rocket also contained a series of science experiments, some designed by school students.

The cause of the accident has yet to be determined, but Frank Culbertson, executive vice-president of Orbital Sciences said “We will understand what happened, hopefully soon, and we’ll get things back on track […] we’ve all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same.”

Read the full story from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29812139