Feeds

Jeff Bezos' spaceship self-destructs in test flight

Amazon kingpin's pocket rocket splatters across Texas

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Would-be spaceman Jeff Bezos' prototype private rocket has crashed and burned after sputtering out during its test flight.

Blue Origin test rocket at Mach 1.2 and 45,000 feet

"A flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle," Bezos said on the Blue Origin company website, which if you're not well-up on flight speak translates more or less to "the damn thing went zipping around the place as though it had a mind of its own so we crashed it".

"Not the outcome any of us wanted," he added, "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."

Oddly, the statement didn't appear till nine days after the test flight, which must have been how long it took the Amazon.com chairman and internet billionaire to swallow his disappointment.

However, his stated aim with the project is to work "patiently and step-by-step, to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go", so he'll just have to draw on some of that patience until the next test vehicle is ready.

Before taking its nosedive, the rocket had reached Mach 1.2 and an altitude of 45,000 feet.

It was the second test rocket in Blue Origin's programme to develop New Shepard, a vertical take-off and landing spaceship that Bezos hopes will take a couple of astronauts on a sub-orbital flight. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.