THE LONGEST CAST, PART III
According to this morning's press release,
The vehicle was intended to fly beyond the international definition of space (100km or 62 miles), with a final anticipated apogee of 365,000 feet or 69.1 miles in 155 seconds. The vehicle flew on a flawless trajectory for nine seconds, reaching an altitude of 24,000 feet. At that point, an anomaly occurred. The anomaly caused a wobble in the vehicle's flight trajectory. The vehicle continued upward reaching a peak altitude of 42,000 feet. The vehicle then returned to earth, unpowered, impacting the New Mexico desert. Radar track was lost approximately 2,000 feet above the desert floor. UP Aerospace and Spaceport America personnel are continuing to search for the vehicle.
So it made it eight miles above the surface of the planet. That's not even close to space, but I can't say the failure is a huge surprise. The space age is rife with similar--and worse!--failures on the way to success. No one should take this failure as a failure of the private space effort. Success will come!
As for the Longest Cast, I do think it safe to say that no one else in the history of fly-fishing has cast a fly sixteen miles (8 up, 8 down)!