The Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch. The rocket was carrying the Orb-3 Cygnus spacecraft on a mission intended to deliver payloads (experiments and hardware) to the International Space Station. Cygnus is an automated, non-manned spacecraft.
ISSET’s US Director and former Senior NASA Astronaut Trainer Michelle Ham was at the launch. I wish to reiterate all of her comments regarding the difficulties and hazards of space travel, and how heart breaking this explosion is for the rocket engineers, the launch controllers and the designers of the on-board experiments and hardware.
We have a close affinity with Orbital Science, as our first space experiments were launched to the ISS on board Orb-1 last January and our next experiments were to be launched aboard Orb-4.
I understand that no one was injured in the explosion, and believe this is a testament to the care and safety procedures of Orbital in Science.
I am included to videos in this blog, the first show of last night’s failure and the second is a reminder of Orbital Science’s more successful ventures when they launched the ISSET experiments in January 2014.
I wish Orbital Science the very best of luck and efficiencies in recovering from this setback.