On October 28, a supply rocket belonging to the Orbital Sciences Corporation was due to launch into space to deliver payloads and various other items to the International Space Station. But the mission was a catastrophic failure as within seconds of liftoff, the 133-foot-tall Antares rocket exploded in spectacular style.
Normally, photojournalists are allowed to collect their gear within a few hours after liftoff and share it with the public, but because the accident required an investigation, it’s taken almost a month for the impounded memory cards to be returned to their owners. Now that some of the footage has been received by the press team, we can finally see the frightening event in magnificent detail.
Mike Barrett / Jeff Seibert / Matthew Travis / Elliot Severn / Peter Greenwood, Zero-G News and AmericaSpace, via Gizmodo
Recordings from several different angles have been compiled, giving us a truly cinematic experience. It’s remarkable that the recording equipment managed to survive the explosions, although one camera was not totally unscathed and ended up with a cracked lens.
Launch photojournalist Elliot Severn describes his first-hand experience of the dramatic event to America Space:
“The initial liftoff looked flawless. Then, suddenly, the exhaust turned bright yellow and became far brighter than usual. That’s when we knew things were about to get bad. The vehicle seemed to hand in the air and started to burn, it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It fell in a pillar of fire and exploded on impact, and we could feel the heat on our face from 1.5 miles away. Seconds later the shockwave hit, and we all ran for the buses to evacuate.”
[Via America Space, CNET and Gizmodo]