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A reusable suborbital rocket developed by Exos Aerospace suffered a loss of attitude control seconds after liftoff on a test flight June 29, but the rocket was still able to glide safely back to Earth.
Exos’ Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE, or SARGE, rocket lifted off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at about 2 p.m. Eastern. In the company’s webcast, the rocket started gyrating seconds after liftoff before disappearing from view.
Controllers were able to reestablish some control of the rocket, aborting the flight. The rocket deployed a drogue parachute and parafoil while venting unused propellant. The rocket slowly descended under that parafoil, landing within view of the launch pad 14 minutes after liftoff.
That it appears they were able to safely recover the rocket and its payloads is significant, even though this failure is a setback for the company.