On September 11, Masten Space Systems conducted a test flight of Xaero, its vertical take off, vertical landing rocket. It went up just fine – but the descent got a little rocky. Following an apparent throttle valve failure, the rocket began oscillating. After failing to stabilize, the vehicle’s liquid oxygen engine shut off. The rocket fell to the ground and exploded in a fire ball. The vehicle was completely lost. The failure will likely delay scheduled flight demonstrations from Cape Canaveral intended to begin October 1.
A statement from Masten said ”The most important thing is that our team is safe and with the data from this test, we expect to be flying again soon!” A replacement vehicle is already in production.