A spaceship financed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was lost during a test flight late last week.
Blue Origin, owned by Bezos, says the vehicle crashed during a developmental test at Mach 1.2 and at an altitude of 45,000 feet.
“A flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle,” says Bezos.
“Not the outcome any of us wanted, but we’re signed up for this to be hard.”
The spacecraft was the second test vehicle in the company’s program to develop a vertical-takeoff-and-landing ship, called new Shephard, designed to take two people into suborbital flight.
The intention is to use it for space tourism, as well as for resupply trips to the International Space Station.
Blue Origin says it’s already working on its next development vehicle.
The company is extremely tight-lipped about its plans – the posting on its website about the crash is the first it’s made for four years. The company does say it carried out a successful short hop with the vehicle three months ago.
Bezos is a man with big ideas. Another of his current projects involves the creation of a 200-foot-tall ‘ten thousand-year clock‘, under construction in a Texan cave.