Feeds

Mach 8 Scramjet flies but sends no data

$14 million burned as rocket flies but doesn't ignite

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The University of Queensland's ScramSpace hypersonic flight experiment in Norway's Andøya Rocket Range has failed to fire in its one-chance-only test flight.

In a terse statement, the university said the launch lifted off successfully, with the first two stages of the launcher landing safely in the water. “However it appears at this stage that the payload did not reach the correct conditions to begin collecting data as planned”, the statement says.

Had it fired, ScramSpace was expected to return three seconds' worth of data and pass speeds of 8,600 km/h.

ScramSpace is the heir to many years of scramjet development at the university led by Professor Russell Boyce. The university's early work included the HyShot scramjet platform, which back in 2002 was acclaimed as the first successful scramjet flight.

The team is investigating why ScramSpace failed to kick in as expected.

While $14 million is a lot of money to lose in a failed shot, it's nothing like the hundreds of millions America has devoted to its X-51A project, which needed three failed test flights before it reportedly hit Mach 5 in a successful test in May. ®

Scramspace pre-launch

University of Queensland to investigate why ScramSpace didn't fire.

This pre-launch image by Donald Cook shows payload installation.

Update: The university has posted a more detailed statement.

“The rocket carrying the scramjet launched at 3pm (Norwegian time, 11pm Brisbane time), however the payload failed to achieve the correct altitude to begin the scientific experiment as planned," professor Boyce said.

“The SCRAMSPACE payload, according to our data, was operating perfectly and performed extremely well before and during the launch, and we received telemetry data all the way into the water.

“Unfortunately the failed launch meant we could not carry out the experiment as planned.” ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
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?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.