Cygnus cargo ship explodes on liftoff

Cygnus 3An unexpected malfunction destroys Orbital Sciences’ unmanned Cygnus cargo spacecraft a mere six seconds after its Antares booster rocket leaves the ground. Supplies and experiments bound for the International Space Station aboard the S.S. Deke Slayton (named after the late Mercury and Apollo/Soyuz astronaut) are destroyed in the explosion, along with several small secondary satellite payloads. Orbital Sciences and NASA begin an investigation into the accident, and cleanup of debris and damage at the Wallops Island launch facility begins.