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Unmanned Antares rocket explodes six seconds after liftoff

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An Antares rocket launching from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, exploded six seconds after liftoff.

No one was injured, although there was significant property damage.

Investigators will use the data gathered during the launch to analyze what happened.

The launch was scheduled for Monday, but was scrubbed for 24 hours because a boat failed to get out of the Range Safety area in time.

The rocket, a new design from Orbital Sciences Corporation, was taking 5,000 lbs. of supplies to the International Space Station.

Three students from Fayette Academy attended the launch. One had the top experiment for ninth grade, and the other two had an experiment on the rocket. It was meant to test the effect of the Reshi Mushroom on E .coli and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

“We were all excited, and when they had the 3-2-1 countdown, we were all high-fiving, ready for it to go. We knew real quick within the first three or four seconds that something was going wrong” Donna Burrus, co-director of the Student Space Flight Program with Fayette Academy, said.

“The sound wave that hit us, we all dropped to the ground,” she added. “We were only 1.7 miles from the launch site, so we were even closer than the national media.”

“Part of this project is that we are guaranteed this experiment will go to the International Space Station, where it will stay up there for 12 weeks, then be returned to us to be evaluated,” Burrus said.

“We’re just really blessed that everybody is safe. We definitely made some memories, that’s for sure,” she said. “Gained a real appreciation for the complexity of space, science…and it’s not as easy as we all take for granted.”