Firefly’s first rocket was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. It carried several payloads that were intended for low-Earth orbit. Although the rocket launched as expected, it experienced an anomaly that caused the rocket to explode and to lose its entire mass before reaching orbit.
Today’s rocket flew from Firefly Alpha, which was the launch vehicle for Firefly. This launch effort marked Firefly’s first ever launch of the spacecraft. It is an achievement to actually get off the launch pad the first time. The loss of the vehicle appears to have occurred sometime after what is known as “max q”, which is the point when the spacecraft experiences the greatest aerodynamic stress before leaving Earth’s atmosphere.
Firefly released a Twitter statement shortly after the explosion. The stream was hosted by Everyday Astronaut and featured audio and video from the company. The statement stated that ground crew had cleared the area around the explosion site and other areas to reduce risk, and adhered to safety protocol.
Company expects more information about the Alpha rocket’s fate and the reasons it was destroyed to be provided by the company. We will update as necessary.
Firefly Aerospace is a private commercial launch company based out of Austin. It was founded in 2004 and survived bankruptcy. Firefly Aerospace is developing a Beta rocket to be capable of carrying around 17,000 pounds worth of payload into low-Earth orbit. The Alpha rocket can transport around 2,200lbs, which is fully expendable.
Publited Fri, 3 Sep 2021 at 03:18.57 +0000