Friday, September 02, 2011
Blue Origin Test Spacecraft Crashes in Texas
Blue Origin's experimental rocket crashed in West Texas last week potentially setting back efforts to expand America's commercial space launch sector. The loss of the unmanned spacecraft first came to light an online report by The Wall Street Journal, and was confirmed by a posting to Blue Origin's website.
"The spacecraft, developed by closely held Blue Origin LLC, was on a suborbital flight from the company's West Texas spaceport last week when ground personnel lost normal contact with the vehicle. Investigators are looking at remnants of the craft recovered on the ground to determine the cause," the report said today.
“Three months ago, we successfully flew our second test vehicle in a short hop mission, and then last week we lost the vehicle during a developmental test at Mach 1.2 and an altitude of 45,000 feet,” said Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. “A flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle. Not the outcome any of us wanted, but we’re signed up for this to be hard, and the Blue Origin team is doing an outstanding job. We’re already working on our next development vehicle.”