Payload from Wallops Island launch burns up as it returns to earth (Video)

Posted at 3:38 PM, May 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-11 15:40:05-04

The payload from April’s Antares rocket launch at Wallops Island successfully burned up as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over Chile and Argentina Thursday night.

The first test launch of the Orbital Science-built Antares carried a large payload into low-earth orbit designed to simulate the mass of the company’s Cygnus cargo capsule that will bring supplies to the International Space Station. (The rocket also put several small cell-phone satellites into orbit)

The mass simulator broke into several pieces as it burned up in the night sky as can be seen in this amateur video. Read more about the re-entry at the Bad Astronomy blog.