Rocket explodes – level 3
This video filmed by a journalist captures the moment an unmanned rocket exploded seconds after lift-off from a commercial pad in Virginia.
The footage of Tuesday’s launch shows the Antares rising slowly into the night sky, as flames suddenly engulf the rocket from the bottom to the top. It’s the first accident since NASA turned to private operators to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
As a crowd of locals gathered to watch the launch, businessman Mike Odwalla also captured the incredible moment. As he filmed the blast on his mobile phone, the rocket can be seen exploding in a huge fireball.
What was left of the spacecraft and rocket plummeted back to Earth, causing even more flames upon impact.
The Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft had been set to launch at 6:22PM, carrying roughly 5,000 pounds (2.3 tonnes) of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. The cause of the incident is now under investigation.
Difficult words: pad (area for things to launch from), footage (video), engulf (cover completely), gather (come together), blast (explosion), huge (very big), fireball (a hot, big ball of fire), plummet (fall straight down at high speed), impact (the moment something hits something).
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