Washington D.C. - Today Masten Space Systems conducted a flight test of its unmanned Xaero from the Mojave Air & Space Port to a target altitude of one kilometer to test flight control at high ascent and descent rates. While the vehicle demonstrated better than expected performance through the test, unexpected instability developed during landing and the flight was terminated while the vehicle was well above ground level. The vehicle was destroyed on impact; no one was injured. The cause of the failure is under review, but a throttle valve malfunction is suspected.
CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria stated, "Despite the loss of Xaero, the Masten team completed virtually all of their test objectives and collected invaluable data from the flight. More importantly, the personnel from Masten and from the Mojave Air & Space Port, as well as the hardware and software in the flight termination system, performed flawlessly. The vehicle impacted within the designated test area and no one was injured or endangered. It is the nature of the flight test business to occasionally experience anomalies; I'm confident that although Masten lost a vehicle, they gained important data that will be put to good use as they continue to develop their designs. I expect to see Masten in the skies again soon."
About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation's member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Assistant Director Sirisha Bandla at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.349.1120.