Firefly Aerospace’s first Alpha rocket explodes during launch debut after major anomaly

Firefly Aerospace came up short in its first attempt to reach the final frontier.

Firefly’s Alpha rocket launched on the company’s first-ever orbital test flight today (Sept. 2), lifting off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 9:59 p.m. EDT (6:59 p.m. local California time; 0159 GMT on Sept. 3). Launch came nearly an hour after an initial try was aborted late in the countdown.

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