An uncrewed Soyuz rocket that was supposed to carry food and supplies to astronauts on the International Space Station crashed shortly after it took off today, continuing a long late- and post-Soviet Russian tradition of technological and scientific debacles. There isn't any word yet on the technical cause of the rocket failure, but it seems, happily, that no one was harmed.

Also, the astronauts on the ISS will be fine—they have lots of food reserves on the station already—but you have to wonder if it's wise to keep populating, repairing and supplying the ISS with only one kind of outdated spacecraft (the US got out of the low-orbit "humanned" space travel game with the end of the Shuttle program—Soyuz rockets will be the sole transportation for ISS-bound astronauts and supplies).

Of course, the ISS is a money-sucking, scientifically useless garbage can that's going to fall to Earth way before it was supposed to, so one wonders why anyone keeps sending people up there. At least we're not paying for the rockets anymore.

On a somewhat related note, here is a video of rockets exploding.