NASA-Contracted Rocket Explodes Over West Virginia

NASA-Contracted+Rocket+Explodes+Over+West+Virginia

Photo: nbcnews.com

A NASA contracted rocket exploded in midair early on Tuesday evening, producing huge flames and loud blooms along the eastern Virginia coast, but,  fortunately there were no deaths or injuries, according to cnn.com

The rocket was set to launch at 6:22 p.m. ET from the Wallops Flight Facility along the Atlantic Ocean, carrying roughly 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. It exploded six seconds after launch. What was left of the rocket plummeted back to Earth which caused even more flames upon impact, according to cnn.com.

The rocket and spacecraft- which together cost more than $200 million dollars- are gone, said Frank Culbertson, the general manager of Orbitals Advanced Program Group. There is also obvious damage beyond that, including the launch pad, but the dark night skies made it hard to immediately gauge how much, according to cnn.com.

Mara Kelly, a former NASA astronaut said, such a colossal fire was to be expected. The main focus Tuesday night was safety. Bill Wrobel, the Wallops Flight Facility Director said that fire crews had set up a perimeter around the affected area. “We are basically letting the fire burn out, but it is contained,” he added.

 

In the meantime, they will have to rebound from the loss. “We’ll figure out what the failure is, we’ll fix it, and we’ll learn from it,” said Gerstenmaier, according to cnn.com.