Firefly successfully launched an unmanned missile
Texas-based commercial rocket company Firefly launched a rocket into space Friday morning, about a year after the previous attempt ended in an explosion.
The company announced “100% Mission Success” on Twitter.
The Alpha rocket was launched at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
It was originally set to launch on September 11, but that was dropped because of the rocket’s helium pressure drop, branch KSBY reported.
“Alpha is an economical small satellite launch vehicle,” Vandenberg reports on its website. “Firefly has three educational payloads on board and successfully put it in an elliptical, coast-to-mountain transition orbit, and performed a cyclic burn.”
This is the company’s second drone launch ever from Vandenberg.
In September 2021, a rocket appeared to have taken off smoothly but then malfunctioned. US Space Force officials ordered the company to destroy the rocket mid-air to avoid injuring people or property below. No one was injured.
Firefly and other commercial rocket companies are trying to make space a more competitive business than the sole domain of governments.