Orbital Antares Rocket Explodes Shortly After Launch, Shocking Onlookers

“The launch was proceeding as expected. Across the board, the Orbital team manning their stations had green lights. The weather was almost perfect. There was a sense of anticipation after seeing the launch scrubbed the day before because a boat had wandered into the range. No one could have foreseen what would happen next.”
“Mere seconds into the launch the unexpected happened. As the rocket was barely several hundred feet off the ground, and having just cleared the assorted launch pad towers, an explosion rocked the bottom of the rocket. The rocket continued on a for a few seconds before it quickly fell back to Earth as gravity reasserted itself. It exploded as it neared the ground creating a huge fireball sending debris flying like missiles in all directions. No one was hurt. Next came the shock.”

“It wasn’t just the shock of what had just happened. It was the shock of the unexpected happening. It was obvious that Orbital mission control was in shock. It was obvious later that people who had gathered to watch the launch at a safe distance were in shock and some were scared. The intensity of the explosion, the light, the sound shockwave, took the spectators by surprise.”

“We know very little at this time as to what went wrong.”
“Nearly three hours after the rocket suffered a catastrophic anomaly NASA held a news conference. Here’s what little we know.”