Failure to launch : NASA releases spectacular photos of rocket explosion
Published 06/11/2015 | 18:05
Last week an ATK Antaras rocket experienced a mechanical failure seconds after launching in Virginia.
It then crashed back to Earth in a ball of flames and exploded on impact.
NASA has released a series of spectacular high resolution pictures that capture the incident.
An official report found that an explosion in a liquid oxygen turbo pump in one of the spacecraft's engines caused the failure and the subsequent fireball.
A design flaw or a piece of debris are the likely causes of the explosion in the turbopump.
Thankfully, the rocket was unmanned but was transporting a cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Since the accident NASA have grounded its fleet of Antares rockets while the investigation is completed.
More images can be viewed on NASA's Flickr page.