Witness after Antares rocket crash: ‘NASA is an inferno’

Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-29 22:42:48-04

Tuesday night, hundreds of people were lined up to watch the Antares rocket shoot up into the air. Instead, they saw it explode.

We've seen a lot of video from people who saw the explosion but in this video we're about to show you can almost feel the shock wave.

This is home video taken about a mile from the wallops island launch pad.

The man who recorded one video says the shock wave was like nothing he`s felt before. He says barn doors were unhinged, tools were blown off his shelves and a window was busted.

Jason Thornton had a different vantage point. He was watching from the causeway headed to Chincoteague Island.

“Oh they were freaking. Some people were laughing like they thought that was what they were supposed to do and other people were horrified,” says Thornton.

“NASA is an inferno. It looked like a lot of metallic flakes, like everything was just sparkly, everything floating in the cloud.”

Fredericksburg resident Joe Parker and his wife made it to the Eastern Shore just in time to see the Antares rocket launch after Monday's attempt was scrubbed.

“We thought, ‘Well cool, we got another shot.’ so we were out here, and it was bad. It was just really, really sad.”

In just a matter of seconds, Parker's joy of seeing his first launch from Wallops Island turned into sadness.

“I took a couple of pictures. It was lifting off. It just cleared a tower and then you could actually see from the bottom of the rocket, it was starting to flame up the sides and I thought that's not good. And then boom, just a tremendous explosion and just an overwhelming sadness.

Orbital Sciences, the company that owned the rocket, still doesn't know why the 14-story rocket exploded. Scientists with the company say they are expecting their investigation to take a period of days, not weeks to find out the cause of the disaster.

They also say they're not discouraged or dissuaded from future launches and missions.

“Sad for the experience for all the scientists, all the hours they had to out into it, all the experiments, the kids who had things onboard. Of course the people on the space station, taking up the supplies, knew that was all gone. You feel for those people.

Click here to see our full coverage of the rocket crash