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Thread: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

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    Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    An Orbital Sciences Antares rocket carrying an unmanned cargo craft bound for the International Space Station exploded into flames Tuesday evening moments after launch at NASA's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Virginia.The countdown had seemed routine and the rocket lifted off as scheduled, but then burst into a fireball seconds later. The debris crashed down on the launching pad, spreading fiery wreckage around the area.
    NASA said all personnel are accounted for and no one was injured.


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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    I deeply dislike Orbital Sciences so if it had to happen to one company I'm glad it was then. My only immediate reaction is that this shouldn't be used by certain partisans to tar the commercial space program.

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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Better video


    Looks like the engine nozzle blew up.
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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueWarrior View Post
    Better video


    Looks like the engine nozzle blew up.
    Impressive !

    Igniting a hundreds of thousands of pounds of Liquid O2 and liquid Hydrogen is inherently dangerous.

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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Apparently the countdown was perfect.....
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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Dammit, I have a friend who is an engineer with Orbital, working on rockets. (playing pub trivia with him tonight)

    Not cool.

    This rocket uses what is essentially a cleaned up spare Soviet engine designed for the failed N-1 rocket that the Soviets built to send cosmonauts to the moon, but the rocket failed in all 4 launches (thing had 29 rockets on it).

    The upper stage had a new rocket debuting on this launch, but it never got to fire. Nasty.
    Last edited by beefheart; 10-28-14 at 09:52 PM.
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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    I deeply dislike Orbital Sciences so if it had to happen to one company I'm glad it was then.
    Can you elaborate on that? I mean, we seem to be all out of former Nazis to build rockets for us that don't blow up.
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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Can you elaborate on that? I mean, we seem to be all out of former Nazis to build rockets for us that don't blow up.
    I think they are a bad company that has benefited from a virtually empty field. They get contracts because the alternative to doing business with Orbital Sciences was ULA and for decades that was pretty much it. In the past few years they've lost nearly a billion dollars worth of satellites and their rockets and capsule are pretty crappy. It's more expensive to launch an Antares that can carry less cargo than a Falcon-9 or an Atlas V, and the Cygnus burns up on re-entry. They haven't done anything innovative since their Pegasus rockets, they got into COTS pretty much exclusively because they are a legacy player. We lose money and invest in bad technology when we give Orbital contracts and I think it's time to move on.

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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Pssh. I can do better than that.

    *fires up Kerbal Space Program*
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    Re: Orbital Sciences rocket explodes moments after launch

    Could have been sabotage. Even a contractor should have this down pat by now. We are once again in a cold war and we have other players -- China and India.

    Lest you think it's far fetched the Chinese have been caught stealing and copying advanced technology.

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