WATCH: Firefly Aerospace rocket explode shortly after Vandenberg launch

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UPDATE (7:45 p.m.): Shortly after liftoff, the Firefly Aerospace rocket exploded. Firefly officials described it as an “anomaly during first stage descent.”

The launch was the company’s first orbital test flight. It was carrying a 203 pound payload at the time. Some debris may have fallen back to Earth in the area and the company says it “should be considered unsafe.” However, Firefly said in a statement that they did achieve a number of goals and obtained substantial amounts of flight data, despite the explosion.

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (KGET) — Firefly Aerospace plans to launch its first ever orbital mission tonight from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

According to, Firefly’s 95-foot tall Alpha rocket is carrying multiple payloads into orbit.

It’s scheduled to lift off during a four-hour launch window that opens at 6 p.m.

The rocket is carrying a payload called DREAM — Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission — which consists of mementos submitted by schools and other educational institutions.

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