Military rocket explodes seconds after being launched in U.S. California

LOS ANGELES, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A test rocket exploded several seconds after launching from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in the U.S. state of California late Wednesday night, according to a news release on the base's website.

Screenshot photo: Agencies

The rocket, known as Minotaur II+, blew up approximately 11 seconds after launching at 11:01 p.m. local time (0601 Thursday GMT), it said.

The explosion caused fire on the base, but no injuries were reported after the accident, local media reported.

The launch was scheduled to be the first test supporting the development of the U.S. Air Force's new Mk21A reentry vehicle, which was designed to be used for the military's future LGM-35 Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile.

The LGM-35A Sentinel, currently in the early stages of development by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, is slated to eventually replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which was first deployed in the early 1970s.

An investigative review board will determine the cause of the explosion.