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Test rocket destroyed by NASA after launch
Copyright 2008 by United Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (UPI) — U.S. space officials said a suborbital rocket was destroyed by safety officials shortly after liftoff Friday morning from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The rocket was destroyed by launch controllers because it failed to follow its planned path. No injuries or property damage were reported, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a release.

The Alliant Techsystems rocket was carrying two NASA hypersonic experiments. The Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition experiment was designed to gather data on air flow conditions and heating on vehicles flying at hypersonic speeds. The Sub-Orbital Aerodynamic Re-entry Experiment was designed to evaluate a possible shape for a space capsule that could travel to Mars and gather data on atmospheric conditions encountered by the re-entering probes, NASA said.

Alliant Techsystems, also known as ATK, of Salt Lake City, is conducting the investigation of the rocket malfunction. NASA said it will consult with ATK and support the investigation.

The Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot said NASA lost $19 million of experiments and effort when the rocket was destroyed.



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