Feeds

back to article Jeff Bezos' spaceship self-destructs in test flight

Would-be spaceman Jeff Bezos' prototype private rocket has crashed and burned after sputtering out during its test flight. Blue Origin test rocket at Mach 1.2 and 45,000 feet "A flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle," Bezos said on the Blue Origin …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Fires

I know Texas is a ridiculously huge state, but I hope this isn't the cause of some of the wildfires going on there at present, any info on where it was in relation to the fires?

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

If his rocket can't manage to reach the clouds without exploding.......

.........what about our data?

I'll get my coat.

9
0
Silver badge

45,000 feet

Is well above 99% of the clouds... and it didn't explode - it was turned off.

2
3
FAIL

Wow

way to miss the joke, Vlad.

7
0
Silver badge
Happy

@Sir Cosmo Bonsor RE "Wow"

Yep, I chose not to use the joke-icon because I thought that it was unnecessary - just goes to show.

1
0
Devil

IRS?

I wonder if the crash was tax deductible, if only we had a tax management consultant to advise us....

Anyone?

Damnit, I'll have to go look on Linkedin again...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@ Arctic Fox & Sir Cosmo Bonsor

Perhaps someone with the name Vladamir Plouhznickov is less familiar with the more subtle aspects of the English language than you two - just a thought.

1
0
Coat

Crashed and burned?

I mean come on, it's not rocket science...

4
1
Mushroom

aw come on...

Rocket Science is easy, it´s Rocket Engineering that is difficult.

Ask El Reg Special Projects Desk...

3
0
Mushroom

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

looks like a calor gas bottle

1
0

I was thinking...

.... more like an immersion heater or a silo, but you may well be on to something there.

1
0
Joke

Or an adult toy.....

.....I wonder if it was having vibration problems.....

1
0
Joke

T&C

<insert Amazon's Returns Policy for sub-orbital space craft here>

Reason for return: "Damaged on delivery"

9
0
Facepalm

Burning Airlines Give You So Much More

The Shuttle, very unfortunately came down all over N.E. Texas during a wet time of year.

Unfortunately the 40C ++ drought weather in Texas currently is "Cloudless With A Chance of SpaceBitss...."

1
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Well done!

I've upvoted, if only for the excellent Eno reference slipped in there.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

JMP (POST)

So what exactly is the current state of entrepreneur led space programmes?

At a guess it seems like...

Elon Musk (Space X) is doing great?.

Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) is having set backs?.

Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) was nearly there but got delayed - supposed to be up in 2008?

John Carmack (Armadillo Aerospace) is a smaller operation, but being John Carmack, we should expect something pretty slick when it is released.

Anyone else?

5
0
Silver badge

One click self destruct

I hope he applied for a patent on that.

9
0

Prior art...

Microsoft invented this for their Windows product - I believe the common term is "Blue Screen of Death".

6
0
Go

Not exactly

It's a BSOD allright. Blue Sky of Death.

0
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

What about the usual Reg requirements?

Video, or it didn't happen.....

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

You mean

Playmobil, or it didn't happen

don't you?

1
0

No Playmobil

Regrettably I think the person who did the playmobil must have left. The last playmobil I saw was mounted on PARIS last year

0
0
Gold badge
Thumb Up

Playmobil = Lester

And actually Playmobil is very big in Spain (In fact there is a set with 18" high characters!), so I don't know what his excuse is recently (Playing with Paris & Lohan?)

I think the last one I saw was a parody video of Joy Division, but I don't get to El Reg as often as I'd like.

0
0
Mushroom

Angle of attack???

Is he hoping to invade Mexico?

0
0
WTF?

Err.... anti-gravity bomb?

Doesn't look very aerodynamic does it! Looks like a bomb going upwards. Mind you, if you turned the picture upside down.......

2
0
Bronze badge
Go

Now we know why . . .

. . he is trying to patent retro jets for your phone. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/12/amazon_patent_jets/)

Vertical take-off - pretty hard.

Vertical landing - very hard.

Landing without breaking something - add some retro jets.

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Vertical landing?

Who'd have thought that a team of aerospace engineers would actually, seriously, try to design and build a vehicle that could land vertically, on its tail, while burning retro thrust -- the way I used to see rockets land in old Grade B sci-fi movies when I was a youngun back in the '60s, and thinking to myself, "D'ahh, c'mon, that's so bogus! A _real_ booster could _never_ do that!"

...Actually, though, as I recall, a renegade at Douglas named Phil Bono proposed a series of "flyback" VT/VL boosters during the '60s, which looked really cool in concept art but were obviously entirely impractical in reality, at least at the time:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/rombus.htm

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/pegvtovl.htm

0
0
Thumb Down

Even if it ever works ...

It'll still only be a suborbital vehicle and therefore no more than a highly advanced theme park ride!

A vehicle is a toy unless it can actually go somewhere.

2
0
Silver badge

@PhilW

Leif Eriksson and Colombus wouldn't have had 'advanced' ocean-going sailing boats unless someone somewhere had started off with floating on a log and then progressed to dug-out canoes and rafts. These toys that couldn't really take you anywhere still were the starting points for more serious things.

Our puny shuttles are still at the "floating log" stage in terms of interplanetary travel, but you gotta start somewhere. We won't be doing moon or Mars trips until a suborbital joyride is easy as pie and cheap as chips.

9
1
Anonymous Coward

@James Micallef

Mmmmmm...pie and chips...........

0
0
Bronze badge
Alert

cycle of destruction

@James Micallef

All very true , but how long has it taken to get from Logs to space shuttles? ( or even columbus type galleons)?

Do you think we have enough time to evolve from space shuttles to space liners given the rate at which population is expanding and resources are depleting?

1
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

suborbital joyride?

"Our puny shuttles are still at the "floating log" stage in terms of interplanetary travel, but you gotta start somewhere. We won't be doing moon or Mars trips until a suborbital joyride is easy as pie and cheap as chips."

Hear, hear. Granted, it won't exactly be Dragon or Orion, but speaking as an old '60s kid who wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up, I'd totally settle for the suborbital joyride. It's already one of my top ten to-do items for when I hit the Powerball number.

0
0
Bronze badge
Windows

I had to check the author's name...

"the damn thing went zipping around the place as though it had a mind of its own so we crashed it".

That's so Lester-esque! Well done!

I suspect the delay on announcing the failure was to give the team time to stop pissing themselves laughing. For goodness sake, it looks like something Wallace and Gromit would make...Well, it was probably a 'grand day out'

Don't know why they didn't put a pointy-thingy on top of it, that's supposed to help with direction and stability, surely?

1
0
Gold badge
Happy

Blue Origin play things close to their chest

This is the 2nd test flight they *told* anyone about.

I'll remind people that Spacex crashed 3 times in their first 4 flights for Falcon 1.

BO is also working on 2 *different* vehicles at the same time. I'll guess their capsule for fitting on the Atlas V for the CCDev 2 NASA contract may be getting a bit more priority.

I'll guess they learn quite a lot about their vehicles behaviour under extreme loads from this. The old X programme rule that "If you don't break one you're not pushing the envelope hard enough".

BTW the fondness for fitting lumps of explosive to rockets dates from 1947 when a captured V2 fired from White Sands went off course and landed in Mexico. Fitting a self destruct was a *political* decision to stop complaints, *nothing* to do with saving lives. BO's systems AFAIK just shut the valves, leaving 1 falling object to get out of the way of, rather than a cloud of fast moving (and sharp) fragments.

0
0
Happy

I already know what the problem is

They failed to contact any of our very own LOHAN engineers. Even PARIS got twice as high as that for a total cost of (to quote James May) 10 n' 6.

0
0
Silver badge

stability and pointy things

The pointy nose thing is only of use at supersonic speeds - it actually induces more drag than a rounded tip below ~ mach 0.98

As for stability - rockets usually use fins to get the centre of pressure below (behind) the centre of gravity. Most simple ones spin-stabilise (canted fins) and even the V2 had gyroscopically vectored thrust to keep things more or less vertical (V2 used exhaust vanes but most modern systems wiggle the nozzle.)

So far Team Bezos have achieved about 1/5 as much as the Delta Clipper/DC-X of mid-1990s fame. At least that managed a few retrorocket landings before it fell over and went boom.

What surprises me is that none of these guys are using airbreathing ducted fan engines where they can (or aerospikes). Fixed-nozzle based systems are generally wildly inefficient outside of a vacuum and need a lot of work to keep running happily at varying altitude.

1
0
Gold badge
Happy

@Alan Brown

"As for stability - rockets usually use fins to get the centre of pressure below (behind) the centre of gravity. Most simple ones spin-stabilise (canted fins) and even the V2 had gyroscopically vectored thrust to keep things more or less vertical (V2 used exhaust vanes but most modern systems wiggle the nozzle.)"

Have you taken a look at a modern launch vehicle? Fins went out with the elimination of narrowing the rear end of a rocket, IE shortly after the V2.

"So far Team Bezos have achieved about 1/5 as much as the Delta Clipper/DC-X of mid-1990s fame. At least that managed a few retrorocket landings before it fell over and went boom."

Impossible to say how much they have achieved. This is at least flight 2 so they've managed the landing part *already*.

"What surprises me is that none of these guys are using airbreathing ducted fan engines where they can (or aerospikes)."

If you knew the difference between those two concepts you'd probably know why one was a bad idea and the other had no existing flight history. Look up the T/W ratio of ducted fans Vs rockets.

" Fixed-nozzle based systems are generally wildly inefficient outside of a vacuum and need a lot of work to keep running happily at varying altitude."

What figure did you have in mind?

0
0
Bronze badge

Fins: outta' style, man

"Have you taken a look at a modern launch vehicle? Fins went out with the elimination of narrowing the rear end of a rocket, IE shortly after the V2."

Actually, you need to head over to astronautix.com or nasa.gov, and check out some old Saturn V fotos. Check out those fins at the base of the S-IC stage on the Saturn V. They've got to be the silliest, most useless-looking fins I've ever seen on a rocket, absurdly small considering the overall size of the launch vehicle. They don't look like they could possibly have any stabilizing effect on the Saturn; I understand the dinky little fins on the Saturn V were "a Werner Von Braun" thing. As I recall, all of his designs had fins, real old-skool.

Still, as I recall, the Saturn V used gimbaled engines for thrust vectoring. I know for sure that the Shuttle did; get on YouTube and find some Shuttle launch footage, and check out the close-up of the base of the vehicle just before launch. It's pretty impressive to see those big-ass SSME nozzles rocking and swinging back and forth in a final checkout as they approach T-0.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge
Windows

I'm surprised no-one's commented...

This thing looks like the Android logo...

0
0
DJ
Facepalm

The name for the next one should be...

Indestructable III, of course.

(With apologies to Benny Hill)

0
0
wim
Joke

how about

more indestructable ?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.