Portland State Aerospace Society made it out the Brothers launch site
this weekend
for our rocket launch.  We arrived Saturday and worked on setting up
launch control and the
launch tower and camp. We spent the night putting the finishing
touches on the flight
computer.

Sunday afternoon we made our way through checklists and after working
a few issues
we were ready to launch. We cleared the pad and sent the launch
command to the tower.

The igniter fired but just as the motor lit there was a bang and the
rocket lifted about 30
feet off the ground and fell back to Earth.

After waiting for the launch area to be clear we went to the rocket
and discovered that
the aft closure had failed and all the fuel grains fell out the bottom
of the rocket. We
suspect that one or more of the fuel grains were defective and ignited
so fast that the
pressure in the motor casing caused it to fail.

Luckily there was fairly minor damage to the rocket body. The flight
electronics appear
to be unharmed. On Tuesday we will work on finding a root cause to the
failure and
make a path forward. We started a page on the wiki that will fill up
with photos, video,
data, and analysis:

http://psas.pdx.edu/news/2011-07-31/

Thank you to everyone who followed along and who came out to watch!
We're sorry to
have the day end on such a disappointing note, but we are not
discouraged! We will fly
again and hopefully very soon!

-PSAS

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