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Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington
Keith Koehler
Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.
Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
Trina Patterson
ATK Space Systems, Salt Lake City
Aug. 22, 2008
NASA and ATK Investigate Failed Launch Of Hypersonic Experiments

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- An Alliant Techsystems suborbital rocket carrying two NASA hypersonic experiments was destroyed by range safety officials shortly after liftoff from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Friday. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Most debris from the rocket is thought to have fallen in the Atlantic Ocean. However, there are conflicting reports of debris being sighted on land. This debris could be hazardous. People who think they may have encountered rocket debris are advised not to touch it and to report it to the Wallops Emergency Operations Center at 757-824-1300.

NASA is very disappointed in this failure but has directed its focus on protecting public safety and conducting a routine confirmation of the effectiveness of its range safety operations. NASA has a response team in the field. Alliant Techsystems, also known as ATK, of Salt Lake City, is conducting the investigation of the rocket malfunction. NASA will consult with ATK and support the investigation.

The exact launch time was 5:10 a.m. EDT. The anomaly that caused the failure occurred approximately 27 seconds into flight and is not known.

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