Firefly launch: Dramatic moment first rocket launched by private space company EXPLODES minutes after lift off

Firefly launch: Dramatic moment first rocket launched by private space company EXPLODES minutes after lift off


THIS is the shocking moment the first Firefly Alpha rocket launched by a private space company exploded just moments after lifting off.

The 95ft vessel launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California bound for low Earth orbit and took off as planned on on Thursday morning.

But the rocket soon experienced “an anomaly” which resulted in the explosion and could be seen bursting into a dramatic fireball around two minutes and 30 seconds later.

Everyday Astronaut caught the explosion in a livestream while witness Philip Shuman tweeted out amazing images of it.

The mishap marked Firefly’s first launch launch of a spacecraft and launching off the pad was an accomplishment, Tech Crunch noted.

Additionally, losing the craft took place after "max q" when the vehicle experiences the most aerodynamic stress before leaving Earth’s atmosphere.

Speaking about the incident, Firefly tweeted: "'Alpha experienced an anomaly during first stage ascent that resulted in the loss of the vehicle. As we gather more information, additional details will be provided.' 

"Prior to entering the countdown, the Range cleared the pad and all surrounding areas to minimize risk to Firefly employees, base staff, and the general public.

"We are continuing to work with the Range, following all safety protocols."

The Austin-based launch company Firefly founded in 2014 emerged from bankruptcy as Firefly Aerospace in 2017.

Its Alpha rocket carries around 2,200 lbs to low-Earth orbit. It's developing a Beta rocket to carry 7,000 lbs.

The day before life off, Firefly's chief operating officer, Lauren Lyons told Space News: "Our really big goal is to get Alpha to space. If we can get to orbit, even better. 

"Our goals are to collect as much data as we possibly can and take Alpha as far as it can go"

Chief Executive Officer Tom Markusic said: "It's a flight test, so getting data is success. The more data we get, the better."

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