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Blue Origin vehicle lost on test flight
Posted: Sat, Sep 3, 2011, 9:49 AM ET (1349 GMT)
Blue Origin PM2 on test flight (Blue Origin) A test flight of a suborbital vehicle by secretive venture Blue Origin ended in failure last month, the company confirmed Friday. The Wall Street Journal first reported Friday that the vehicle was apparently destroyed on a test flight August 24 from the company's test site in a remote area of west Texas. Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, best known as the founder of Amazon.com, confirmed the test flight failure in a post on the company's web site later Friday. The vehicle, known as PM 2 on its experimental permit with the FAA, suffered a "flight instability" at 45,000 feet (13,700 meters) at a speed of Mach 1.2, causing the vehicle's range safety system to shut down its engines. The failure appears to be unrelated to separate work on an orbital crew vehicle the company is doing under a funded Space Act Agreement with NASA as part of the space agency's Commercial Crew Development program.
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