Firefly Aerospace rocket Alpha explodes after California liftoff
by Staff Writers
Vandenberg AFB CA (SPX) Sep 03, 2021
Firefly's Alpha 1 has exploded minutes after lifting off from the California launch pad at Vandenberg AFB on Thursday.
The Alpha rocket was "terminated" over the Pacific Ocean shortly after its 6:59 p.m. liftoff from Vandenberg Space Force Base, according to a base statement.
Firefly said an "anomaly" occurred during the first-stage ascent that "resulted in the loss of the vehicle" about 2.5 minutes into the flight.
The rocket exploded in a fireball, leaving a smoke trail. A team of investigators will try to determine what caused the failure of Alpha's first attempted orbital launch.
The launch had pushed back an hour after a first attempt was aborted.
Standing 95 feet (26 meters) high, the two-stage Alpha rocket was designed to launch up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of payload into low Earth orbit.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Firefly is developing various launch and space vehicles, including a lunar lander. It's Alpha rocket was designed to target the growing market for launching small satellites into Earth orbit.
DLR Lampoldshausen prepares P5 test stand for the technologies of the future
Lampoldshausen, Germany (SPX) Sep 03, 2021
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is preparing a central component of its extensive test infrastructure for the future by expanding the European Space Agency (ESA) P5 large-scale test stand at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen. This means that the next generation of space propulsion systems can also be tested under flexible and reliable conditions. The 65-metre-high building of ESA's P5 test stand towers over the DLR site. Inside, it has housed unique high-t ... read more
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