Video of Antares rocket explosion from plane and from nearby press site


Here’s some NASA footage from the cameras at the launchpad

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Those are both dramatic, but the actual rocket launch and explosion aren’t very visible in either one due to the brightness overload (I am sure there’s a technical term for that, but I don’t know what it is).

Both the official NASA video and the other press site video (NSFW if played at volume due to repeated and understandable swearing) give a much clearer view of what happened–rocket goes up, stalls at about 6 seconds, and falls back to the launch pad.


Running for cover… into a tent?


The brightness is a killer of the recording. It would be better to have the footage in HDR. There is e.g. an experimental welding helmet with two cameras per eye that fuse the frames to one HDR frame and achieve available contrast of 100,000,000:1.

Such things would be great for rocket launches.


That’ll buff right out.


We really do need to be more creative with expressions of awe than “Oh God” repeated over and over (interspersed with various expletives and the occasional “My”).


That’s quite a video.

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Something about humanity, perhaps.


Presumably you won’t accept fracking or frelling either, because of their oft-associated holiness?

Suit 1: “Man! Getting into space is expensive!”

Suit 2: “Hey! The Russians have some engines they aren’t using. Been sitting around for 40 years. Putin says he’ll do us a deal.”

Suit 1: “Didn’t those blow up every time the Russians used them?”

Suit 2: “Well sure! But aging makes wine get better. Why not rocket engines? Think of how much money we’ll save! Bonuses all around.”


To be fair, a rocket engine may explode not only because a problem with itself, but also because of a problem with the fuel feed (e.g. “pogoing”, the longitudal vibrations where the fuel flow gets modulated by the thrust-induced structure deformations and the whole system gets into resonance). Due to the overwhelming number of first stage engines, the N-1 rocket was a maze of piping worse than a Super Mario’s bad trip, with more resonance modes than a symphonic orchestra string section with a piano thrown in.

That said, the engines themselves could have a problem. Hopefully enough was left and enough instrumentation data was transmitted to reconstruct the mishap to its cause.


haha, my thoughts too.

Ha! It’s one of the things americans are known for worldwide. It’s like your only two words of surprise.

That blast really is the gift that keeps on giving; just when you thing stuff has stopped exploding, up it goes again, twice as big as before. Rather an expensive firework display though.

On the press release they said, “All the staff have been accounted for”. It put me in mind of the scene in Ice Station Zebra when Carpenter goes looking for his brother in the remains of the destroyed hut.

So, eleven reporters showed up for the event?

That’s about all I would expect to see for an unmanned supply launch for the ISS (ok, there was some other stuff in there too, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not THAT exciting).

If they don’t have reporters who would get excited with even a routine rocket launch, they have wrong reporters for the sci/tech field.

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