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Unmanned rocket crashes in Mojave test flight

Posted: September 11, 2012 4:46 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2012 4:46 p.m.

MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) — An experimental unmanned rocket has crashed in the Mojave Desert as it descended from a test flight to an altitude of 3,281 feet.

Masten Space Systems says its reusable Xaero rocket was lost Tuesday during final approach to landing at Mojave Air and Space Port.

Masten says in blog on its website that the initial cause appears to be a throttle valve failure.

The rocket was launched to test flight controls at increased ascent and descent velocities, and Masten says those objectives were met.

Masten is among several small aerospace entrepreneurs developing new rockets

Two years ago NASA awarded Masten funds for a series of test flights demonstrating the ability to carry small payloads to altitudes between 65,000 feet and 350,000 feet.



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.



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