Firefly Aerospace Launches its Alpha Rocket and Then it Explodes

Firefly Aerospace launched its first rocket, Alpha, and then it experienced an “anomaly” and exploded once it reached supersonic speed.

“Alpha experienced an anomaly during the first stage ascent that resulted in the loss of the vehicle,” Firefly posted to Twitter.

The company, which is based in Cedar Park, launched its 95-foot tall Alpha rocket from Vanderburg Air Force Base in California at 6:59 p.m. California time. Everyday Astronaut live-streamed the event on YouTube. The rocket successfully cleared the launchpad and then exploded approximately two minutes into the flight.

“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,” according to a Firefly post on Twitter.

“While it’s too early to draw conclusions as to the root cause, we will be diligent in our investigation, in partnership with the FAA and the Vanderberg Air Force Base,” according to a statement Firefly issued

Firefly also said while it didn’t reach all of its objectives with the launch, it did achieve a successful first stage ignition,

liftoff off the pad, progression to supersonic speed and it obtained a lot of flight data.