Rocket explodes moments after launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base

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. The unarmed rocket blew up 11 seconds after launch. 

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

"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.