SpaceLoft XL
The SpaceLoft XL is a sounding rocket
Sounding rocket
A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. The origin of the term comes from nautical vocabulary, where to sound is to throw a weighted line from a ship into...

 developed by UP Aerospace
UP Aerospace
UP Aerospace, Inc. is a private spaceflight corporation based out of Denver, Colorado. UP Aerospace provides ultra-low cost space access and payload transportation for corporate, military and educational payloads, via their SpaceLoft XL Sounding rocket launch vehicles.- History and Future Plans...

. The rocket has a diameter of 10 inches (25 cm), and is 20 feet (6 m) long. It is capable of lofting a 110 lb (50 kg) payload to a sub-orbital trajectory with an apogee of 140 miles (225 km). It takes only 90 seconds to cross the Kármán line
Karman line
The Kármán line lies at an altitude of above the Earth's sea level, and is commonly used to define the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space...

 (the "Edge of space").

The first launch was made at 2:14 p.m. local time (20:14 UTC) on September 25, 2006, from Spaceport America
Spaceport America
Spaceport America is a spaceport located in the Jornada del Muerto desert basin in New Mexico, United States. It lies north of El Paso, north of Las Cruces, east of Truth or Consequences...

, in Upham, New Mexico
Upham, New Mexico
Upham is an uninhabited, unincorporated town and place in Sierra County, New Mexico, United States. It has gained recognition for being near the site for the Spaceport America facility being developed by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority...

During its maiden flight, it experienced an "unexpected aerodynamic effect" and crashed in the New Mexico desert after reaching only 40,000 feet (12 km).

The second launch, originally scheduled for October 21, 2006, was successfully carried out on April 28, 2007 at 8:56 a.m. local time (14:56 UTC). UP Aerospace president Jerry Larson had said the rocket was assembled and had been on the launch rail since Tuesday (24 April). The primary payload, Celestis Legacy
Celestis is a company that launches cremated human remains into space, a procedure known as a space burial. It is an affiliate company of Space Services Inc. The company purchases launches as a secondary payload on various rockets, and launches samples of many peoples' cremated remains on one launch...

, consisted of cremated human remains including those of astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 Gordon Cooper
Gordon Cooper
Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. , also known as Gordon Cooper, was an American aeronautical engineer, test pilot and NASA astronaut. Cooper was one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space effort by the United States...

 and Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 actor James Doohan
James Doohan
James Montgomery "Jimmy" Doohan was a Canadian character and voice actor best known for his role as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the television and film series Star Trek...

, whose ashes were also onboard the ill-fated Falcon 1
Falcon 1
The Falcon 1 is a partially reusable launch system designed and manufactured by SpaceX, a space transportation company in Hawthorne, California. The two-stage-to-orbit rocket uses LOX/RP-1 for both stages, the first powered by a single Merlin engine and the second powered by a single Kestrel engine...

when it malfunctioned in August 2008. The third launch was conducted at 14:00 UTC on 2 May 2009, carrying student experiments and the Discovery payload for Celestis, and failed to reach the correct apogee.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.