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  ATK ALV X-1 suborbital rocket destroyed

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Author Topic:   ATK ALV X-1 suborbital rocket destroyed
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-22-2008 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA and ATK Investigate Failed Launch Of Hypersonic Experiments

An Alliant Tech Systems suborbital rocket carrying two NASA hypersonic experiments was destroyed shortly after liftoff from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Friday. No injuries or property damage were immediately reported.

Most debris from the rocket is thought to have fallen in the Atlantic Ocean. However, there are conflicting reports of debris being sighted on land. This debris could be hazardous. People who think they may have encountered rocket debris are advised not to touch it and to report it to the Wallops Emergency Operations Center at 757-824-1300.

NASA is very disappointed in this failure but has directed its focus on protecting public safety and conducting a comprehensive investigation to identify the root cause. NASA is assembling a multidiscipline team, along with the rocket's maker Alliant Tech Systems, or ATK, of Salt Lake City, to begin the investigation promptly.

The exact launch time was 5:10 a.m. EDT. The anomaly that caused the failure occurred approximately 27 seconds into flight and is not known.

The launch marked the first flight of ATK's ALV-X1 suborbital rocket. On-board the 53-foot tall rocket were NASA's Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition (HYBOLT) and the Sub-Orbital Aerodynamic Re-entry Experiment (SOAREX) payloads as well as a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory receiver and transmitter intended to help with ocean recovery.

During a media telecon held Friday morning, NASA confirmed the rocket had been destroyed by range safety after it veered south of its target azimuth. Video of the explosion will air on NASA TV later today.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-22-2008 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Video of ATK's ALV X-1 being destroyed:

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 08-22-2008 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully the insurers will pick up the bill for NASA's items but for the life of me I don't understand why people place experiments or the ashes of their loved ones on completely untested launch vehicles.

A failed payload-less launch would probably go unnoticed by the public but these last two failed launches only bring back memories of the early days of the US space program, when speed of execution was the driving priority.

Paul

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-28-2008 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought this article was pretty informative.
Early Friday morning, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration terminated an experimental rocket soon after it launched from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket had veered off course and was in danger of landing in a populated area. How does NASA torpedo a rocket?

art540
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Posts: 432
From: Orange, California USA
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 08-31-2008 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The usual solid rocket "destruct" is done by blowing off the forward bulkhead and offsetting the thrust as the propellant contiues to burn - not spltting the casing. You can see the burning open ends as the rocket spins down and appears to blink on and off.

All times are CT (US)

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