Sensitive crypto gear could slow recovery of Cygnus spacecraft cargo
Sensitive technology on board an Antares rocket that was headed for the International Space Station could slow investigation into its explosion shortly after lift-off on Tuesday evening.
The rocket was just a few seconds into its flight from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia when flames from the rocket’s exhaust flared and the lower stage of the rocket appeared to explode. The rocket fell vertically back onto the launch pad and a massive explosion followed.
NASA said no personnel were injured in the accident although the launch pad suffered major damage.
The rocket, which was built by Orbital Sciences Corp., was carrying an unmanned Cygnus spacecraft with about 5,000 pounds of cargo on board including classified equipment that uses sensitive cryptographic technology.