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Rocket Explodes With UT Austin Experiments Onboard

Updated: 8:30 p.m.

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CAPE CANVERAL, Fla. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A commercial space station supply ship bound for the International Space Station exploded six seconds after liftoff at a launch site at Wallops Island, Virginia. Orbital Science Corp. was launching its unmanned Cygnus capsule.

It was carrying a satellite build by aspiring space entrepreneurs at The University of Texas at Austin. It was supposed to track drought in the state and all over the world. Students worked on the satellite for more than a year. Then project's student manager was at the launch and was evacuated, according to the Austin American Statesman.

The payload also included 31 other mini research satellites, a meteor tracker, and a tank of high-pressure nitrogen to replenish a vestibule used by spacewalking astronauts.

This is a developing story.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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