Feeds

PayPal founder's private rocket burns, then crashes

SpaceX maiden launch woes

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A private rocket designed to revolutionise space transport suffered an embarrassing setback over the weekend. The maiden flight of SpaceX's low-cost Falcon 1 ended in disaster, with the flight not making it past its first stage.

Take-off was at 2230GMT Friday from a launch pad on the Pacific Kwajalein Atoll. Just 25 seconds into the flight onboard cameras showed Falcon 1 spinning out of control shortly before the video feed was lost. SpaceX spokeswoman Gwynn Shotwell told reporters: "We do know that the vehicle did not succeed after that. Clearly this is a setback but we're in this for the long haul."

A fatal fire aboard the paraffin-fired booster is currently the prime suspect. It's thought fuel leaked and caught light around the top of the main engine.

Before Friday's launch attempt, SpaceX claimed it had launch contracts lined up worth nearly $200m by undercutting bigger government-backed space hauliers such as the European Space Agency. For a bargain £3.8m Falcon 1 was attempting to carry a 19.5kg satellite to a low-Earth orbit of 450km.

SpaceX chief and PayPal tycoon Elon Musk said: “I cannot predict exactly when the next flight will take place, as that depends on the findings of this investigation and ensuring that our next customer is comfortable that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure reliability.” ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.