Photo: Firefly Aerospace
Earlier today Firefly Aerospace posted on their social medias stating that they will be conducting a qualification test of their first stage for the Alpha rocket. Those tweets and posts about the test have now been removed.
The Burnet County Sherrif’s Office then posted of an explosion that occurred near Firefly’s facilities near US Highway 183 in Briggs. They started evacuations around the area within a 1 mile radius of the facilities and traffic was shutdown.
Firefly Aerospace is stating that there was no explosion and no one was harmed, and that a small fire broke out at the pad that was quickly extinguished by the pad’s water suppression system. A community statement from Firefly of the anomaly will be done soon.
Update 3:46pm ET:
Firefly Aerospace has address the test anomaly that occurred on January 22nd, 2020. “At 6:23pm local time, the stage’s engines were fired, and a fire broke out in the engine bay at the base of the rocket’s stage. The 5-second test was immediately aborted and the test facility’s fire suppression system extinguished the fire. The cause of the anomaly is under investigation.... Firefly is committed to workplace safety, and at no time during the test were Firefly operations personnel in danger. Firefly is coordinating closely with local authorities and emergency response personnel as it investigates the anomaly and refines its contingency procedures.”