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NASA Rocket Explodes During Second Launch Attempt

Photo: NASA TV

Photo: NASA TV

A rocket launch that was delayed Monday night when a sailboat entered into a maritime exclusion zone failed Tuesday when an explosion occurred on launch.

NASA’s mission control, on a NASA TV feed, suffered a “catastrophic anomaly” when the Antares rocket exploded as a launch was attempted from the Wallops Island, Va. Flight Facility at 6:22 p.m.

All personnel have been accounted for and no injuries occurred during the incident, NASA officials said. Wallops Island personnel were being tasked with collecting debris from the site and determining what went wrong. NASA employees at mission control in Houston have been assigned to collect telemetry data as part of the investigation, said NASA’s orbital launch conductor, whose name was not immediately available. The rocket was unmanned.

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Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the launch site, which is located in the southern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula, where they will be interviewing employees.

The rocket was carrying a Cygnus spacecraft on board that was carrying 5,050 pounds of food and supplies to the International Space Station. Residents of the the U.S. mid-Atlantic states were eagerly anticipating watching the launch, which was predicted to be visible from beaches and some high points inland.

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