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The private rocket exploded seconds after launch, and has drawn an investigation by NASA. It was carrying supplies to astronauts on the International Space Station.

Antares rocket explodes seconds after launching


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 8:34 AM - An unmanned Antares rocket carrying more than 2,200 kilograms of supplies exploded Tuesday seconds after launching.

The rocket, which measured 14-storeys high, launched at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 6:22 p.m. ET. Seconds after it lit up the sky with a fiery explosion.

In a statement issued by Orbital Sciences Corp., it was outlined that the vehicle suffered a catastrophic failure.

It was carrying cargo for the International Space Station (ISS).

No injuries have been reported, but there was significant vehicle and property damage, according to CNN. The cause of the accident was not immediately known. 

The explosion was caught on film by NASA TV, which live streamed the takeoff online.

Originally scheduled for Monday, the launch was delayed after a boat was reported in a restricted safety zone underneath the rocket's flight path.

The rocket was built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp. It is one of two companies employed by NASA to transport cargo to the ISS. The other is SpaceX, which has a $1.6 billion contract with the space agency.

Tuesday's flight was supposed to be the third out of eight scheduled launches by Orbital. The company has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA.

With files from Reuters and the CBC

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