The unmanned rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station exploded about two minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral.
There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
This shipment is especially critical because the space station has lost two deliveries since fall. There is no word on the cause of the failure.
A Russian supply ship spun out of control shortly after liftoff in April and burned up on re-entry with all its contents. In October, an Orbital Sciences Corp. cargo carrier was destroyed in a Virginia launch explosion.
Nearly 5, 300 pounds of gear was packed for the trip, including replacements for science experiments lost in the Orbital launch accident, some of them designed by students.
Stored in the capsule's unpressurized trunk was the first of two new docking rings for the station. Spacewalking astronauts will hook up the 1, 160-pound port built by Boeing later this summer.Three men currently are living at the space station, three fewer than usual because of the recent hold in Russian Soyuz launches. Two of them are one-quarter of the way through a one-year mission: American Scott Kelly and Russian Mikhail Kornienko.
The third, Russia's Gennady Padalka, will become the world's most experienced spaceman this weekend. He's set to break the world record for most accumulated time in space, surpassing the 803-day mark held by former cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, now a Russian space program official.
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