Monday, November 24, 2008

NASA Team to Investigate Launch Failure

An Alliant Techsystems suborbital rocket carrying two NASA hypersonic experiments was destroyed shortly after liftoff from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Friday, Aug. 22. No injuries or property damage were immediately reported.

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.

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 Techsystems, or ATK, of Minneapolis, to begin the investigation promptly.

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