Photos show space company Firefly’s first rocket explode during launch above California

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Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket accelerates away from SLC-2 at Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 2, 2021.Andrew Evers | CNBCSpace company Firefly launched its inaugural Alpha rocket on a cloudless Thursday evening over the California coast.The Alpha rocket took off from Vandenberg Space Force Base's SLC-2 complex, climbing west over the Pacific.Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 2, 2021.Andrew Evers | CNBCBut about 2½ minutes after launch, Firefly's rocket began flipping end over end and exploded in the air.The flight termination system on Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket detonates after it launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 2, 2021.Andrew Evers | CNBCFirefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket explodes in a fireball in the sky above California after launching from Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 2, 2021.Andrew Evers | CNBCThe company's first Alpha rocket explodes during its orbital launch attempt
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