(REUTERS) — CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - An unmanned Space Exploration Technologies rocket exploded about two minutes after liftoff from Florida on Sunday, destroying a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station in the latest in a string of mishaps in supplying the orbiting outpost.
The 208-foot-tall (63-meter) rocket, built and flown by the company known as SpaceX that is owned by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, had previously made 18 successful launches since its 2010 debut. Those included six cargo runs for NASA under a 15-flight contract worth more than $2 billion.
The accident soon after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was the second successive botched mission to resupply the space station. A Russian Progress cargo ship failed to reach the outpost in April following a problem with its Soyuz launcher. Russia plans to launch a replacement capsule on Friday.
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