Ukrainian-American private company Firefly Aerospace has launched a space rocket for the first time. However, the rocket exploded in the air 2.5 minutes after launch. This was reported by the press service of Firefly Aerospace on Twitter.
The Alpha space rocket was launched from the US space force's Vandenberg base in California at 4:59 Kyiv time. The launch was originally scheduled for 4:00, but it was postponed for an hour.
The explosion occurred approximately 2.5 minutes after launch.
“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," the company said.
This was the first test flight of the rocket, which the company introduced as a launch vehicle focused on the fast-growing market for small satellites. The rocket was to deliver a cargo weighing 93 kg into low earth orbit.
“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 company states in the next tweet.