A Rocket Crashed In Alaska This Week And Images Are Starting To Come Out


Space startup ABL Space Systems and its RS1 rocket got off the ground for the first time on Tuesday, but quickly came back down to Earth.

Multiple launch attempts in recent months were aborted or postponed due to a combination of technical and weather-related issues, but January 10 was finally that day that Flight 1 of RS1, the company’s initial small satellite launcher, would take place.

RS1 successfully blasted off from Kodiak Pacific Spaceport in Alaska Tuesday afternoon, but shortly after clearing the launch pad, all nine of the rocket’s engines simultaneously shut down.

“RS1 impacted the pad and was destroyed,” the company said via Twitter shortly after the incident. “As expected in this scenario, there is damage to the launch facility. All personnel are safe, and fires have subsided.”

The company posted video footage of the launch but has not responded to requests to release imagery of the unplanned crash landing.

Local media and photographers posted a plume of smoke emanating from the launch site after the crash.

On Thursday, satellite imagery began to circulate that appears to show the damage to the launch pad on Kodiak Island.

ABL says it plans to investigate and return to flight.

The company, based in California, positions itself as a no-frills launch solution meant to provide access to orbit on tight timelines, from multiple locations and with a quick turnaround between launches.



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