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Friday, August 22, 2008

ATK Booster Fails to Loft HyBolt

An Alliant Tech Systems suborbital rocket carrying two NASA hypersonic experiments was destroyed shortly after liftoff from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility from the Virginia-based Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport launch pad i n the early morning hours of Friday. Launch and destruct video 1 and 2.

Most debris from the rocket is thought to have fallen in the Atlantic Ocean. However, there are conflicting reports of debris being sighted on land. This debris could be hazardous. Among the lost payloads was Hy-BoLt.

NASA is very disappointed in this failure but has directed its focus on protecting public safety and conducting a comprehensive investigation to identify the root cause. NASA is assembling a multidisciplinary team, along with the rocket's maker Alliant Tech Systems, or ATK, of Salt Lake City, to begin the investigation promptly.

The exact launch time was 5:10 a.m. EDT. The anomaly that caused the failure occurred approximately 27 seconds into flight and is not known.


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