Armadillo’s STIG-B Flies, Suffers In-Flight Abort

Armadillo Aerospace successful launched its STIG-B rocket from Spaceport America earlier today. However, some sort of abort occurred during the flight, so it’s not clear how high it reached. The objective was to send the payload above 100 kilometers, the boundary of space.

Armadillo founder John Carmack has Tweeted some updates:

John Carmack @ID_AA_Carmack

> Armadillo flight at Spaceport America hit an abort limit, but the recovery system functioned properly, so the vehicle is safe.

> Need to analyze data and fix a couple things, will fly again in a couple weeks.
A press release follows after the break.

Upham, NM (NMSA PR) — New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced today the launch of a STIG-B rocket designed and built by Armadillo Aerospace of Rockwall, TX.

This launch was the first licensed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch to take place from Spaceport America’s vertical launch complex at the spaceport, and the second research and development test flight this year at Spaceport America conducted by Armadillo Aerospace.

The successful launch was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Armadillo Aerospace, as the company is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies. Armadillo Aerospace is a leading developer of reusable rocket-powered vehicles and plans to provide a platform for civilian access to suborbital space.

Today’s flight was the spaceport’s first FAA-licensed launch, the 6th Armadillo Aerospace vehicle, and the 16th vertical launch from Spaceport America since 2006.

Armadillo Aerospace plans to release additional information on the launch as information becomes available, and updates will be posted online at www.armadilloaerospace.com.

  • That’s what test flights are for. And since the recovery system did its job, I’d call it a small success.