Masten Space Systems has released the following statement on the loss of the Xaero vehicle during flight test on September 11.

Last week we encountered a sub system failure in flight that necessitated turning the rocket off while still in the air. Landing at that point winds up considerably rearranging the rocket into rocket parts.

Since then we’ve heard from a lot of folks offering support, encouragement, and concern. Thank you. Please know that the team is not only physically fine, we are emotionally fine as well.

I noted a concerned tone in those words, that while appreciated, is over stated. While it is never easy to lose a test vehicle, Xaero was just that. A test vehicle. Masten received the wisdom that came with building and operating the test vehicle. We stand on the far side of so many lessons that it boggles the mind to consider how much we have gained from designing, building, and flying her. Xaero was never intended to spend her later years in a retirement home. She was going to live fast and die young. She fulfilled her destiny and far outlived her expected service.

As a team and as a company the loss of the vehicle is an iterative step. We were prepared. We trained. We planned. And while there was a lump in the throat as she flew her last, we quickly turned our attention back to doing what we do at Masten – iterating quickly.

No, the death of Xaero is not the death of the Masten dream or of the Masten business. Xombie is still flying (and not affected by the same thing that killed Xaero). We’re working on the next vehicle and the next few after that. Masten continues to innovate and find new ways to lower the barriers to space.

We’re getting back to work. See you in the sky… soon.

Written by Astro1 on September 19th, 2012 , Masten Space Systems

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