NASA's Antares ISS resupply vehicle exploded tonight a few seconds into takeoff.


Bummer. It’s to be expected, of course. This will occasionally happen. Bummer nonetheless. :frowning:

Interesting possibly related twist in this other thread.

This is why we send up the supplies on unmanned rockets. There comes a point where it’s more economical to just accept the occasional failure than to spend enough on the rockets to make them more reliable.

they will have to break out the reserve Tang.

Anyone know what this means for the current crew of the ISS? Will they have to return earlier? I’d hope that there’s some sort of backup available, but who knows these days?

None of the supplies being carried was mission critical and there is another commercial supply flight (SpaceX CRS-5, I believe it is F9-14) manifested for a December launch on which the cargo manifest could be juggled to prioritize more critical supplies. In principle, none of the CRS flights are mission critical for ISS operations because neither of the CRS vehicles (Antares or Falcon) has enough history to assess sufficient reliability for mission critical operations.