Antares 2014, Wallops Island MARS
Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) occupies leased space at NASA's Wallop Flight Facility. It shares many of NASA's facilities and promotes itself as "a competitive alternative for responsive, cost effective, reliable, and mission capable Space Access."
Antares explosion shock wave knocks down spectators about 4.0 miles away.
Unmanned Antares rocket explodes on launch
Doyle Rice and William M. Welch, USA TODAY 10/29/15
An unmanned commercial rocket headed for the International Space Station to deliver supplies exploded just after launching on 10/28/2014, filling the sky with a massive fireball.
The Antares rocket supplied by contractor Orbital Sciences blew up moments after liftoff at NASA's space launch facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the space agency said.
The explosion destroyed the rocket and spacecraft and immediately raised questions about the future of NASA's reliance on private commercial ventures to carry vital payloads into space to supply and support the orbiting space station.
NASA and Orbital Sciences were gathering data to determine the cause of the failure of the Orbital CRS-3, the space agency said. No injuries were reported.
"There has been a vehicle anomaly," Orbital Sciences, the contractor supplying the rocket, said on its Twitter feed. It added later in a statement, "The vehicle suffered a catastrophic failure."
“We were very fortunate with the way the rocket came down and fell to the north," said Dale Nash, executive director of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, which owns the pad.
John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University's Space Police Institute, cautioned against judging Orbital too harshly for the failed flight.
"It’s part of the business of operating in space. You’re operating systems at the edge of performance. You’re harnessing a great amount of energy. Everything has to work," he said.
What is the maximum distance and radius from the launch pad that might be damaged by any rocket that could be launched from Spaceport Camden?
What does the US Navy have to say about the risk to submarines and weapons at Kings Bay Submarine Base?
Has the Navy approved the proximity of the Spaceport?
How many seconds does it take a rocket to travel from the Spaceport to Kings Bay?
Is it absolutely impossible for an errant rocket or its debris from an accident to ever hit Jekyll Island, Harrietts Bluff, St. Marys, or Kings Bay?
What are the allowable launch deviations before an order is absolutely executed to destroy an errant rocket and who makes the decision to abort a launched rocket? Is it sometimes just a judgement call?
Are there redundant abort systems?
Why does the Georgia Space Flight Act allow noise that can knock you off your feet any time of the day or night?
As the Spaceport owner, can Camden County be held legally responsible if the Spaceport operator is negligent and people or property are harmed?
Will Camden County's or individual property owner's liability or property insurance rates increase?