I saw this recently on CNN – Rocket built by startup Firefly explodes off California coast – CNN September 3, 2021: . Slightly longer article, but here’s what I considered relevant.
New York (CNN Business) A 100-foot-tall rocket burst into flames mid-air after launching from California Thursday evening, dashing the hopes of a Texas-based startup to put a rocket into Earth’s orbit on its first-ever launch attempt.
The rocket, which launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base north of Los Angeles onThursday, appeared to have a smooth liftoff as it soared out over the Pacific Ocean and approached supersonic speeds. But then, the rocket began to cartwheel, turning over itself, before US Space Force officials on the ground directed the company to destroy the rocket mid-air — called an emergency abort — so that it would not tumble uncontrolled back toward people or property. No one was harmed.
Firefly is not the only space company to lose a rocket in 2021. Astra (ASTR), a California-based startup with a similar business plan to Firefly’s, attempted last week to put its 43-foot-tall rocket into orbit, but the vehicle veered sideways off its launch pad and attempted to right itself before exploding over the coast of Alaska. And then there’s SpaceX, which has endured many explosions during the early development phases of its rocket technology. Early prototypes of a rocket the company hopes will one day put humans on Mars, for example, have taken several explosive dives back to Earth this year.
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