NASA

Searching for Answers in Virginia Rocket Explosion

Cargo rocket exploed moments after liftoff

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The owners of a commercial supply ship that exploded moments after liftoff promised to find the cause of the failed delivery mission to the International Space Station and warned residents to not touch any debris they might stumble across from the craft, which was carrying hazardous materials.

Crews planned to hit the ground at daybreak Wednesday to search for pieces of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo module, which blew up Tuesday night just moments after lifting off from NASA's launch complex at Wallops Island, Virginia, said Bill Wrobel, director of the facility.

The cargo ship was carrying 5,000 pounds of experiments and equipment for NASA, as well as prepackaged meals and freeze-dried Maryland crabcakes for a Baltimore-born astronaut who's been in orbit for five months. All of the lost materials will be replaced and flown to the 260-mile-high space station, NASA space station program manager Mike Suffredini said. He said astronauts at the station currently have enough supplies to last until spring.