Experimental NASA spacecraft explodes moments after liftoff

Caught on Camera

POSTED: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 12:45pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 12:49pm

A prototype NASA spacecraft exploded on lift-off during a test flight at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday afternoon.

The Project Morpheus vehicle experienced a hardware component failure, and it was unable to "maintain stable flight," according to NASA.

NASA video shows the spacecraft lifting a few feet off the ground before rotating sideways and crashing back to land five seconds later.

The spacecraft burned for about two minutes before a large explosion.

No one was injured and the fire was extinguished.

Engineers are looking into what caused the failure.

The spacecraft arrived at Kennedy Space Center on July 27 for three months of testing.

On August 3 NASA was expected to begin testing the spacecraft in a "hazard field" designed to mimic the surface of the moon.

Morpheus cost NASA $2 million.  

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