Exos suborbital reusable rocket aborts prematurely during third launch

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Capitalism in space: The third flight of Exos Aerospace’s reusable suborbital rocket SARGE was cut short today shortly after launch when the rocket had attitude control problems.

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.



  • Phill O

    What or where will a malfunction land? I can understand why launches are on the east coast, but inland? I do not want to be down range.

  • Dick Eagleson

    It’s a suborbital rocket launched in New Mexico. Even when it works correctly, it’s going to land on land. Fortunately, New Mexico has a lot of wide open spaces.

  • Col Beausabre

    White Sands has been launching since right after WW2. (and Bob Goddard had been launching in the Thirties up near Alamogordo). Admittedly, it was pretty Wild West in the early days,

    “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department!” says Werner Von Braun.

    The inevitable occurred – one V2 ended up coming down in Mexico (no casualties). Since the Mexican War was about a century in the past, the brass in Washington relieved the post commander and sent in a new one with instructions to put the Fear of God into the mad scientists. He succeeded. Stuff still comes screaming out of the sky, but it’s on Army property.

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