Rocket explodes moments after launch from California base

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A Minotaur II+ rocket exploded moments after takeoff from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base, officials said Thursday.

Base officials said there were no injuries after the rocket exploded at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday, raining debris down onto the launch pad, according to a base statement.

“We always have emergency response teams on standby prior to every launch,” said Col. Kris Barcomb, Space Launch Delta 30 vice commander.

The scheduled test launch was a first supporting the development of the Air Force’s new Mk21A re-entry vehicle that will be used on the future LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile, according to officials.

An investigative review board is being put together to determine the cause of the explosion, KEYT-TV reported.

Contributed by local news sources

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