Blue Origin Suffers Major Accident (Update)

Keith's 24 Aug note: According to a FAA NOTAM (Notice To Airmen): "FDC 1/3552 ZAB TX.. TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS VAN HORN, TX. EFFECTIVE 1108241200 UTC UNTIL 1108241700 UTC. PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 91.143 TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT DUE TO ROCKET LAUNCH ACTIVITY WITHIN A 17 NM RADIUS OF 312706N/1044546W OR THE SALT FLAT /SFL/ VORTAC 125 DEGREE RADIAL AT 24.3 NAUTICAL MILES SFC TO 18000 MSL. BLUE ORIGIN LLC, TELEPHONE 253-347-2821, IS IN CHARGE OF THE OPERATION. ALBUQUERQUE /ZAB/ ARTCC, 505-856-4500, IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY."

Keith's 25 Aug update: Well, nothing was apparently launched - and if you go to the FAA NOTAM webpage the request from Blue Origin has mysteriously disappeared.

Bezos-Funded Spaceship Misfires, WS Journal

"An unmanned spaceship funded by Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos suffered a major failure during a recent test flight, according to U.S. government and industry officials, highlighting the dramatic risks of private space ventures. The vertical takeoff and landing spacecraft, developed by closely held Blue Origin LLC, was on a suborbital flight from the company's West Texas spaceport last week, these officials said, when ground personnel lost contact and control of the vehicle. The exact nature and cause of the failure were unclear, but remnants of the spacecraft could provide clues for investigators. Parts of the vehicle were recovered on the ground and are now being analyzed by company experts, according to government and industry officials."

Keith's 2 Sep update: One would expect that Blue Origin would post an update on its website after an accident of this sort. Here it is:

"Successful Short Hop, Set Back, and Next Vehicle - 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. 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."

Photos from earlier "hop"

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 2, 2011 4:21 PM.

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