NASA and ATK Investigate Failed Launch of Hypersonic Experiments

August 22, 2008

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ — An Alliant Tech Systems suborbital rocket carrying two NASA hypersonic experiments was destroyed shortly after liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Friday. No injuries or property damage were immediately reported.

Most debris from the rocket is thought to have fallen in the Atlantic Ocean. However, there are conflicting reports of debris being sighted on land. This debris could be hazardous. People who think they may have encountered rocket debris are advised not to touch it and to report it to the Wallops Emergency Operations Center at 757-824-1300.

NASA is very disappointed in this failure but has directed its focus on protecting public safety and conducting a comprehensive investigation to identify the root cause. NASA is assembling a multidiscipline team, along with the rocket’s maker Alliant Tech Systems, or ATK, of Salt Lake City, to begin the investigation promptly.

The exact launch time was 5:10 a.m. EDT. The anomaly that caused the failure occurred approximately 27 seconds into flight and is not known.

   For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:                             http://www.nasa.gov/     Beth Dickey   Headquarters, Washington   beth.dickey-1@nasa.gov   202-358-2087    Keith Koehler   Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.   keith.a.koehler@nasa.gov   757-824-1579    Kathy Barnstorff   Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.   kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov   757-864-9886/757-344-8511    Trina Patterson   ATK Space Systems, Salt Lake City   trina.patterson@atk.com   801-699-0943  


CONTACT: Beth Dickey, Headquarters, Washington, +1-202-358-2087,beth.dickey-1@nasa.gov; Keith Koehler, Wallops Flight Facility, WallopsIsland, Va., +1-757-824-1579, keith.a.koehler@nasa.gov; Kathy Barnstorff,Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., +1-757-864-9886 or +1-757-344-8511,kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov; or Trina Patterson, ATK Space Systems, Salt LakeCity, +1-801-699-0943, trina.patterson@atk.com, all for NASA

Web site: http://www.nasa.gov/

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