An 11-metre scaled-down version of the supersonic jetliner crashed in the Australian desert yesterday just seconds after its launch on the back of a booster rocket
. Last night, the team behind the plane were still unsure why Japan's National Experimental Supersonic Transport separated from its rocket at the Woomera rocket testing range.
The Hope-X will be blasted into orbit by a powerful booster rocket
and then re-enter the earth's atmosphere on a pre-programmed route for a runway landing on the island.
SPACE RACE: The Russian Soyuz TMA-3 booster rocket
that carried a three-man crew to the international space station is transported to the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
But trouble with its booster rocket
left it in too low an orbit, which required nearly three months of gradual nudges to correct.
EXPEDITION SOYUZ SPACECRAFT: At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft was mated to its booster rocket
Once it is released over the ocean it will fall for several seconds, at which point a booster rocket
will ignite for the craft to gain its initial acceleration for around 30 seconds.
Man's next great space adventure blasted into the skies yesterday when a Russian Proton booster rocket
carried the first part of the international space station into orbit.
Above, the X-43A roars off attached to its rocket; ERA WE GO: Air age is born as booster rocket
powers X-43A from B-52
The director of the development team, Kimio Sakata, said they would examine the wreckage to determine why the plane separated from its booster rocket
just after launch.
It also has a launch-abort system to get the capsule and astronauts to safety if the booster rocket
But he and two other commanders said they think it will be a satellite launch because of the public announcements from Pyongyang, including coordinates of the ocean area where the booster rocket
is likely to fall.