Armadillo Aerospace Rocket Blows Up: Second Unsuccessful X-Prize Attempt This Weekend

August 13, 2004

Two more attempts to win the $10 million Ansari X-Prize went up-and down-in smoke this weekend. Team, funded by John Carmack of id Software, hoping to send a rocket into space saw its craft crash and burn this weekend. Armadillo Aerospace lost a $35,000 rocket when the machine ran out of propellant at close to 600 feet and came tumbling back to earth.

The other failure happened on August 8 at Olympia National Park in Washington state. The $20,000 rocket built by Space Transport Corp. of Forks, Wash., exploded as it reached 1000 ft. Co-founder Eric Meier said he's planning another test launch in the next couple of months. Eric Meier on Wednesday put the remains of the Rubicon 1 rocket up for online auction at

The first private manned spaceflight took place in June, when SpaceShipOne, a craft funded by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and designed by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan, reached the required altitude on a test flight.

About the X PRIZE Foundation
The X PRIZE Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Supported by private donations and the St. Louis community, the Foundation’s mission is to create educational programming for students and space enthusiasts as well as provide incentives in the private sector to make space travel frequent and affordable for the general public. Several additional sponsorships for the ANSARI X PRIZE competition remain available to corporations or individuals who wish to support the X PRIZE Foundation and associate themselves with space, speed and high technology.

Explore further: Story Time from Space: Astronauts getting new picture books

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