Scramjet Trial Tripped Up By Booster Failure

An Australian attempt to test fly a supersonic combustion ramjet engine failed Oct. 30 due to problems with the booster rocket that carried the engine aloft for its planned high-speed ignition. The scramjet was mounted atop a Terrier-Orion suborbital rocket, which was supposed to carry the payload to an altitude of 380 kilometers for the test. However, the rocket did not reach the necessary speed or altitude due to a second stage problem, and the scramjet engine was not fired as planned.