back to article Third time unlucky for Elon Musk's Falcon rocket

SpaceX, the commercial space launch company run by PayPal multimillionaire and tech visionary Elon Musk, has suffered another technical hitch. The third test flight of the Falcon 1 rocket has been unsuccessful, after the upper stage failed to separate properly from the lower. "It was obviously a big disappointment not to reach …


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  1. Adrian

    Top Gear

    has been there, done that.

    Get him to watch the Robin Reliant Shuttle episode. That's how the British do things !!!!

    Flames = best at back of rocket, not engulfing it !

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Crash as often as PayPal?

    Wouldn't you expect the rockets to crash as often as PayPal does? Presumably they use the same technology... it isn't rocket science you know! Oh wait, yes it is. Mine's the one with the tins of hydrazine in the pockets.

  3. Booty Inspector

    SpaceX also plans a larger and more powerful...

    ...FAIL next time.

    Mine's the asbestos one.

  4. Bill Cumming

    The last irony....

    The ashes of James Doohan "Scotty" were on board..

    now if here was still the engineer instead of a passenger...

  5. Dale

    Payload lost

    They don't mention it explicitly but I presume the payload (a couple of satellites and a solar sail) was lost. I would have thought customers would want to see at least one successful launch before entrusting their gear to a SpaceX launch. Where do you even get insurance for an unproven venture like this?

  6. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Hint: Acme Exploding Bolt Company.

    I think you can get the phone number from Wyle E. Coyote.

  7. David Given

    @ Dale

    They get customers because they offer huge, huge discounts. The rocket needs to carry mass anyway as ballast --- the rocket won't work properly without the correct mass distribution --- so they might as well carry a useful payload at the same time. Apart from anything else that also lets them test the payload deployment mechanism.

    Personally, I want to know why the RocketCam footage cut out before we saw anything interesting happen. That happened on the other flights, too.

  8. Charlie Stross

    The usual starting trouble

    It's worth noting that virtually no previous orbit-capable rocket has succeeded without a string of early failures. The R7 (Soyuz) launcher, for example, is famously reliable today ... but not back in the mid-1950s when it was under development. The Ariane IV had about twelve failures in its first eighteen launches -- then had a spotless record for the next several dozen. And so on.

    Losing three in a row is disappointing but hardly unprecedented; if they get it right with #4, all will be forgiven soon enough.

  9. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Say I wonder if the problem was similar to the great Euro Rocket festival of disasters when the French , German and Italian pieces spoke to each other in different binary language so that when one said go the one on top said I'll think about it and the one in the middle said I prefer the crowd mode thankyou !

  10. Mr Mark V Thomas

    Re: Reliant Robin Space Shuttle

    The people who made said shuttle were awarded a "Arthur", by the British Interplanetry Society, for their work, as it was the largest rocket to be launched in the mainland U.K...

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