Feeds

Private space rocket crashes in desert

Commercial space race not quite up to speed

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A privately funded rocket, bound for (sub)orbit, has crashed into the New Mexico desert after something went wrong at 40,000 feet.

The UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket was carrying cremated remains, which at least will be materially unchanged by the crash, and school kids' science projects, which will not. The team behind the rocket say there is a chance the cargo is intact.

"We believe the vehicle is safely on the ground," a spokesperson for the company said.

The launch was going well - until the rocket hit 40,000ft. Reuters reports that the mission director made the following announcement over the public address system:

"Because of an unexpected aerodynamic effect, the vehicle was short of its effected range".

Onlookers said they could tell something had gone wrong when the vapour trail started to trace out a corkscrew pattern in the sky.

It was the first launch ever from the US's first official commercial spaceport, Spaceport America. [Can you imagine how much fun that meeting was? - Ed]

The 20 foot high SpaceLoft XL rocket has a total payload capacity of 110 pounds and a range of 140 miles. Connecticut-based UP Aerospace offers space on the rockets for a few hundred dollars per gram. It describes itself as the world's "premier supplier of low cost space access".

The firm has nine further launches planned over the next year. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.