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Un-Manned Rocket Failure; near San Nicolas Island, CA

near San Nicolas Island, CA | 2020-May-25

Initial Notification: On 25-MAY-2020, a 70 foot long, un-manned rocket was launched from an aircraft at 35,000’ altitude with 13,500 pounds of RP1 Kerosene fuel on-board (roughly 1,600 gallons). Shortly after launch, two explosions occurred destroying the rocket and causing it to fall to the water roughly 80-90 miles off the coast of Long Beach, CA. On the evening of 26-MAY-2020, USCG Sector LA/Long Beach contacted their NOAA SSC to request a drift estimate of fuel and/or debris.

Incident Details
Primary threat:Other
Products of concern:RP-1 Kerosene fuel
Total amount at risk of spill: 1,600 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 33° 6.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 119° 47.98′ West