(AA) – An unmanned space rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station exploded during takeoff on Tuesday night, NASA confirmed.
The Antares rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, suffered a catastrophic failure seconds after its launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. No casualties have been reported, according to NASA officials.
Orbital announced it formed an investigation to determine the cause of the malfunction.
The Antares, the largest rocket operated by the company, was scheduled to launch Monday to carry about 5,000 pounds of supplies to the station, but NASA aborted the takeoff becasue of a boat downrange in the hazard area.
“It is far too early to know the details of what happened,” Frank Culbertson, Orbital’s executive vice president, said in a statement issued by the company.
“We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of this failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident,” he said.