Wallops rocket launch ends prematurely, crashes into Atlantic

The flight of a Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility ended prematurely at 4:36 a.m. Wednesday morning, about 19 seconds after its launch.

An anomaly was detected in the second stage Impoved Malemute motor. The rocket flew to an altitude of 27,000 feet and then crash landed about one nautical mile downrange in the established hazard zone in the Atlantic Ocean.

There were no injuries or property damage.

A NASA team will investigate the cause of the anomaly and more information will be released as it becomes available.

The rocket was scheduled to launch and then deploy several sub-payloads including a system for forming vapor clouds used to track the winds in space for studies of the ionosphere; a miniature deployment actuator for small spacecraft called cubesats; a low-cost attitude solution system; and improvements in telemetry and flight recorders to increase the rates for data collected and transferred during flight.

The rocket was expected to soar about 85 miles before splashing down about 54 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Live video of the launch can be seen below. Liftoff happens approximately 1:36:00 in.

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