On Sunday, January 10 at 7:53 a.m. EST, Beta flight test vehicle (FTV-1) successfully ascended from the suborbital launch pad.
Beta launched to an altitude of about 20 kilometers (20152 meters) using its nine iEngine-1. At its peak, the rocket shut down its engines and deployed four "grid fin" to make a controlled descent to a landing site near its launch pad.
Just before touchdown, Beta FTV-1 fired up one of its engines once more to control the rocket to attempt an upright landing. But the rocket landed a bit too fast (about 10m/s) due to throttle program problems and a higher than expected amount of fuel, cause it to crash and explode on the landing site.
Team is already hard at work preparing our next Beta prototype, the flight test vehicle 2, for next test launch (30-km test), possibly next week.
(R.I.P. Landing Zone Sign and FTV-1)