Minotaur II+ rocket explodes seconds after being launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base
A test rocket exploded moments after being launched Vandenberg Space Force Base late Wednesday night.
The Minotaur II+ rocket exploded about 11 seconds after it was launched from a Vandenberg test pad at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday. The Vandenberg Fire Department responded to the fire on the North Base caused by the explosion, but authorities said the fire was simply smoky and was not an immediate danger to the rest of the base.
There were no injuries reported, and the debris was contained to the immediate vicinity of the launch pad, base officials said.
The launch was supposed to be the first test supporting the development of the Air Force's new Mk21A reentry vehicle, which is planned for use on the future LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile. Both were developed by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. The test launch was intended to demonstrate preliminary design concepts and relevant technologies in operationally realistic environments, according to Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center officials.
An investigative review board will determine the cause of the explosion.
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