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Hawaii's First Rocket Launch Fails Midflight: U.S. Air Force

by Shamar Walters and Cassandra Vinograd /  / Updated 

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The first rocket launch from Hawaii failed shortly after takeoff, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The 55-foot "Super Strypi" rocket was launched on Tuesday from Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility. Video posted online showed the rocket lift off, streaking up into the clouds.

However, the Air Force said in a statement that the mission failed midflight.

"The experimental launch vehicle experienced an anomaly," added the University of Hawaii in a statement. "[The U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office] is currently assessing the cause."

The University of Hawaii was responsible for payload development and project management of the rail launcher and launch pad, according to the school.

It said the 110-pound satellite was designed to "do a number of things" — including performing thermal hyperspectral imaging of Earth's ocean, volcanoes and urban areas during heatwaves.

The launch was originally slated for October 2013 but was postponed several times due to a variety of issues, according to NBC affiliate KHNL. It said that the launch was part of work aimed at reducing the cost of military space missions.

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