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Amazon chief fails to deliver rocket to space

Unmanned spaceflight is a flop
Tue Sep 06 2011, 10:15
Jeff Bezos's unmanned space ship

AN UNMANNED SPACESHIP backed by bookselling Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin organisation did not reach its intended trajectory this weekend and was destroyed.

jeff-bezos-space-shipAccording to the Wall Street Journal the rocket, which resembles a water tower, went off course and lost contact with ground control.

The financial rag said that the loss represents the risks of private space travel. Though that's a fair assessment, we suspect that Bezos' accountant might have a different view.

Investigators are looking at the remains of the ship, which might mean weighing them for scrap, and are said to be working to find the cause of the crash.

This is the second time the vehicle has been aimed at the stars, and according to Jeff Bezos the last time it went much better. However, the crash has not deterred him from his plans.

In a note published on the Blue Origin web site Bezos said, "A flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle. Not the outcome any of us wanted, 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."

Although this vehicle is unmanned Blue Origin also has plans for space people carriers. "We're working on the sub-orbital crew capsule separately," added Bezos, "as well as an orbital crew vehicle to support NASA's Commercial Crew program." µ


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