Video of Firefly Alpha Rocket Exploding in the Air Minutes After Launch Emerges Online
11:56 GMT 03.09.2021 (Updated: 17:00 GMT 12.04.2023)
Firefly's Alpha Rocket was scheduled to be launched in December last year. The rocket was supposed to carry more than 90kg of payload to an orbit 300km above the Earth. The explosion led to the end of Firefly's Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission (DREAM).
The Alpha rocket produced by aerospace firm Firefly exploded in mid-flight on its maiden voyage on Thursday for an unspecified reason and footage of the mishap has emerged online. The projectile had been intended to enter orbit but instead debris of the lightweight craft fell to Earth in the civilian area of Orcutt, California.
— James Hyde (@wxmeddler) September 3, 2021
According to the company, the explosion occurred around two and a half minutes after lift-off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Space company Firefly on Thursday launched its Alpha rocket for the first time. However, minutes after lift-off the vehicle exploded because of an anomaly in the sky above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.
The company issued a statement shortly after the explosion and said that the "ground staff had cleared the pad and surrounding areas to minimise risk and in adherence with safety protocols".
— Firefly Aerospace (@Firefly_Space) September 3, 2021
Some of the residents of Orcutt claim that half an hour after the explosion pieces from the craft were still falling on nearby locations.
— Mike Wanzong (@wanzong) September 3, 2021