Rocket that Exploded Was Carrying Food for Astronauts

The unmanned rocket that exploded over Eastern Virginia was carrying 1,300 pounds of food

The important supplies were on their way to the International Space Station.

Excitement turned to horror last night as witnesses saw the Antares rocket, a private, unmanned shuttle carrying supplies to astronauts on the International Space Station explode six seconds after launch. The spectacular explosion caused an eruption of fireballs and loud booms, but no injuries or deaths. The spacecraft had apparently been carrying supplies for the astronauts at the International Space Station, including 1,300 pounds of food, and supplies for space farming.

Fortunately, the explosion did not endanger the astronauts aboard the International Space Station because, according to NASA, they had plenty of food and water to get by, and the supplies that were en route were back-up supplies.

Some of the supplies, besides basic astronaut food and water, included pea shoots to monitor their growth in space. Pea shoots are durable, fast-growing, and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, making them a potential source of food on long-duration space missions. The pea shoots were prepared by New Jersey students, who were studying the blue and red LEDs that help the plants grow.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi