Unmanned NASA Rocket Explodes At Wallops Island in Va.
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (WJZ) -- A NASA rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded during lift-off. NASA officials say the rocket suffered a catastrophic anomaly shortly after liftoff. Now officials are trying to figure out what went wrong.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the investigation.
Officials say there were no reported issues with the rocket before it exploded in the sky over Virginia.
The supply ship rocket bound for the ISS lifted off but just six seconds after leaving the launch pad, it exploded over Wallops Island, sending fiery debris crashing back to earth.
The 14-story rocket was built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corporation, which will lead the investigation into the failure.
"Something went wrong and we will find out what that is. We will determine the root cause and we will correct that and we'll come back and fly here at Wallops again," said Frank Culbertson, Orbital Sciences Corp.
Video taken from a nearby plane shows the moments as the fireball burst in the air. The spacecraft was unmanned and no one was injured. The rocket was loaded with 5,000 pounds of gear for the six people living on the ISS. NASA officials say the crew on the ISS---including Baltimore's own Reid Wiseman---are not in urgent need of supplies.
"We keep logistics on the ISS that protect us for four to six months in the event hat other logistics vehicles can't make it to ISS," said Mike Surrfredini, NASA.
Starting Wednesday morning, a crew on the ground will start combing through the debris of the rocket to search for clues about what went wrong.
"In addition, we have dozens of cameras that were trained on the vehicle and range and they're all going to have to be evaluated, also," Culbertson said.
Orbital Sciences says they will not launch another rocket until they figure out what failed Tuesday.
NASA officials are warning people in the area to stay away from any debris on the island because it could be hazardous.
Tuesday was the second launch attempt for the rocket. The first, on Monday, was thwarted when a stray sailboat went into the rocket's danger zone.
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