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SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 03, 2021 01:36PM
[www.youtube.com]

first try doesn't make it


NASA article=>[www.nasaspaceflight.com]


Firefly Aerospace’s maiden flight of Alpha launch vehicle ends in failure
written by Mihir Neal September 2, 2021

Firefly Aerospace suffered a failure during the first orbital flight of their small satellite launch vehicle, Alpha. The launch, designated as FLTA001, launched from Space Launch Complex 2 West at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California before blowing up during first stage flight.

Firefly was aiming to become the fifth company to develop and fly a privately-funded rocket to orbit, following Orbital ATK’s Pegasus (since acquired by Northrop Grumman), SpaceX’s Falcon 1, Rocket Lab’s Electron, and Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne.

Firefly’s Alpha rocket

Alpha is a two-stage, small satellite launch vehicle designed to carry 1000 kilograms to Low Earth Orbit, or over 630 kilograms to Sun-Synchronous Orbits often used by Earth Observation satellites.

Standing 29 meters tall and 1.8 meters in diameter, its first stage is powered by 4 Reaver 1 engines, fueled by RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen. The first stage has a total thrust of 736.1 kN with a specific impulse of 295.6 seconds.

The Firefly team conducted a 15-second static fire test of its first stage engines on August 19, paving the way for an orbital flight attempt.

The second stage is powered by a single vacuum-optimized Lightning 1 engine. It also runs on RP-1 and liquid oxygen and has a thrust of 70.1 kN and Isp of 322 seconds. Both of these engines have been fully developed and manufactured by Firefly.

Alpha is built using carbon fiber composites — just like Rocket Lab’s Electron — in order to be as mass efficient as possible.

Although Alpha launched from Vandenberg for this mission, it can also be launched from Firefly’s Space Launch Complex 20 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Alpha has an advertised price of $15 million for a dedicated mission.


the Firefly crew reacts






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2021 01:43PM by Steve G..
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: September 03, 2021 01:50PM
It did better than the Atlas Astra launch a few days earlier that flew sideways for 20m before it burned enough fuel to go vertical.

Oops, I meant 'Astra'



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2021 02:35PM by ztirffritz.
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 03, 2021 01:56PM
Quote
ztirffritz
It did better than the Atlas launch a few days earlier that flew sideways for 20m before it burned enough fuel to go vertical.

Not sure if blowing up counts as better.
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 03, 2021 02:31PM
Don't cha just HATE when that happens......... eye popping smiley
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: neophyte
Date: September 03, 2021 02:40PM
It was deliberately blown up when it became too unstable to continue flying and was downrange far enough so most debris would not hit land (though some did). The initial failure occurred maybe 15-20 seconds into the flight with an engine failure, much like Astra.
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 03, 2021 03:32PM
The rockets from Estes are very reliable. Maybe they should copy one of those and just scale it up. Their Firefly is very cheap too.



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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 03, 2021 03:57PM
This company is new to me. Seems to me the orbital launch market is getting a little crowded.
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: September 03, 2021 05:12PM
Quote
ztirffritz
It did better than the Atlas Astra launch a few days earlier that flew sideways for 20m before it burned enough fuel to go vertical.

Oops, I meant 'Astra'

I dunno, man... I still give Astra's Guidance computer team an A+. "The Little Guidance Computer That Could" side-slipped the rocket through the launch site GATE and freakin' HOVERED until it had shed enough mass to go UP... then it went UP, right on course! The engine team needs a pep talk, but, the guidance and control team have eared a bottle of champagne!



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
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Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 03, 2021 06:49PM
That photo is disturbingly familiar.



It is what it is.
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 03, 2021 08:23PM
It’s almost as if rocket science it hard…
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Re: SPACE: Firefly Alpha Rocket Explodes In Flight
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: September 03, 2021 08:34PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
That photo is disturbingly familiar.

I know what you mean. :-(
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