By way of my editor at Wired News, Marty Cortinas, this link to a story about an launch failure in Washington state on Sunday involving Space Transport Corp.‘s Rubicon I rocket. What’s impressive is that they’ve gotten to the point where they can bring something to the launch pad and say, hey, we’re gonna go supersonic with this thing and get up to 20,000. What’s sobering is the result.
Not — repeat, not — to compare Space Transport’s effort with the da Vinci Project in any way, this is the kind of episode that shows the unpredictability and vulnerability of new launch systems. And it’s the kind of thing that makes some fairly knowledgeable observers (MSNBC’s Alan Boyle points to one) wonder why da Vinci is so willing to go into space without a complete test of its system.