John Carmack's rocket crashes

Rockstar videogame programmer and amateur rocket scientist John Carmack experienced the agony of defeat this past week as Texel, his prototype lunar lander crashed and exploded. Let’s all pour out a couple polygons on the street for our dead homies. According to Slashdot:

During the test, Texel lifted off and hovered without incident, then descended again and touched the ground. But it then rose again unexpectedly and began accelerating upward. "Crap, it’s going to fly into the crane, I need to kill it," Carmack recalls thinking. He hit the manual shutdown switch, turning off the vehicle’s engine in mid-flight. Texel was about 6 metres above the ground and fell like a stone. One of its fuel tanks broke open when it hit the ground, spewing fuel that ignited and engulfed the vehicle in flames. "It made a fireball that would make any Hollywood movie proud," Carmack says.’ No one was hurt in the crash, but the vehicle was destroyed.

Carmack and his company Armadillo Aerospace were heavily favored in the contest to win the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander challenge prize money until the recent setback. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. In 2006, Carmack’s other lunar lander prototype, Pixel, underwent a similar fate.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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