Are the bursts during launch that we see really typical?
The truth is for Allen.
Rockets that malfunction and spontaneously explode are rare. The rest?
It is done by the mission team sitting on the ground below. To avoid damage by falling on the ground. When a rocket is launched, it is filled with explosives close to the fuel chamber. It also has an igniter that can be turned on remotely from the ground.
The first few minutes after the launch of the rocket were extremely difficult. Sudden acceleration etc increases the risk of accidents. If something goes wrong with this, the rocket is more likely to go sideways instead of into the sky and land on the ground in a populated area or on top of the command center itself.
A large amount of cryogenic fuel in a rocket can also lead to massive fires. This system is to prevent this from happening for any reason. Its official name is Flight Termination System. Abbreviated as FTS. If the commanding officer is sure that the rocket will miss the path, these explosives will be triggered as soon as possible and destroyed in the sky.
The goal is to break the rocket into small pieces that won’t cause damage if they fall down.
Another purpose is to neutralize any radioactive material in the rocket, if any.