Gutting news: the privately-funded SpaceX rocket program fell short of orbit for the third time on Saturday night. Elon Musk, founder and financier of the Falcon 1, said that the cause was under investigation.
Launched at 11:34 p.m. after an evening of delays, SpaceX’s third attempt went well until “oscillation” was seen and on-board cameras stopped broadcasting. The first attempt was knocked out early by a fuel line leak, while the second almost made it into space.
In the long run, space travel fans have little to worry about: it’s not as if you can test a single-use space rocket, after all. The live launches are the tests. This latest wipeout carried a DoD satellite and, from NASA, an automatic laboratory and a solar sail experiment.
Also on board were the ashes of more than 200 people who wished to be shot into space after their deaths, including James Doohan, Star Trek’s Scotty.
He did, however, get to go into the blackness one time: his remains were aboard SpaceLoft, which arced into space on an experimental suborbital flight in 2007 before returning to Earth.