"We've begun the 'hotwash' already and are scrutinizing the possible causes of the explosion," the press service of the design bureau said. "The results will be reported later."
The two-stage Antares carrier rocket exploded in the air just seconds after liftoff from NASA's space center on Wallops Island in Virginia. It was carrying the Signus cargo craft with two tonnes of payload to the International Space Station, including 720 kilograms of equipment and materials for research experiments.
Yuzhnoye design bureau developed the Antares' first stage.
Antares, which was known as Taurus II in the initial phases of its development, was designed for orbiting small payloads of up to 5,000 kilograms. Its developers are the Orbital Science Corporation and Ukraine's Yuzhmash R & D Group.
Under the terms of the project, the Ukrainian side designed and manufactured the first stage of the rocket, while the US company took charge of the second stage and the ground launch site.
The program was partly financed by NASA and the entire cost of its implementation reached $ 1.9 billion. The first four launches of the Antareses were successful.