The fourth mission from the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office, which launched aboard an experimental three-stage Super Strypi rocket, failed shortly after takeoff from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii Tuesday, according to a brief Air Force statement. The statement does not say what caused the failure or if any property was damaged, but a video posted on the Spaceflight Now website shows the rocket tumbling out of control and breaking up mid-flight. The flight—Hawaii’s first space launch—was originally slated for 2013, but was delayed several times due to “technology and timing issues,” reported West Hawaii Today. The Super Strypi launch vehicle, which was carrying 13 smaller payloads for NASA researchers and university students when it failed, is designed to offer a quicker, cost-effective space launch alternative. Aerojet Rocketdyne built the rocket’s first stage solid propellant motor, known as LEO-46.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.