Experimental Air Force rocket launch fails

An experimental Air Force rocket, dubbed Super Strypi, failed seconds after launch today.

The rocket is launched from a rail track rather thabn vertically on a launchpad, and is intended to lower the cost significantly. From the video at the link, it appears that the rail track portion of the flight worked fine, but shortly thereafter the rocket lost control.

Posted from Mexico City.

Test flight of rail-guided launcher delayed to October

The competition heats up: The first test flight of a rail-guided military small satellite launcher has been delayed until October 2015.

“Launch delays of the new launch system were driven primarily by technical development challenges on the first stage motor including design and delivery of the rocket motor case and the integrated rocket motor,” Anttonen said in a response to written questions from Spaceflight Now. “This motor is now complete along with the rest of the launch vehicle, and the launch is on hold pending an opening in the range schedule,” Anttonen said.

The launch system is designed to provide launch capability for small satellites like cubesats, with a launch cost of $12 to $15 million. If successful, it will be a direct competitor to Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne, except that it appears it might be operational first.