Firefly Aerospace rocket explodes after California liftoff

Space Science

MYSTERY WIRE (VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif.) — A rocket launched by Firefly Aerospace has exploded after lifting off from central California.

Officials at Vandenberg Space Force Base say the Alpha rocket was blown up over the Pacific Ocean a couple of minutes after its Thursday evening launch.

Firefly says an “anomaly” occurred during the first-stage ascent that “resulted in the loss of the vehicle.”

It was the first orbital attempt for Texas-based Firefly, which is targeting the growing market for launching small satellites. The company plans to be capable of launching Alphas twice a month at a starting price of $15 million each.

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