Software Flaw Doomed NASA Hypersonic Experiment

Software Faulted In Failed Hypersonic Test
Aviation Week

Preliminary findings of an investigation into the August 2008 loss of NASA’s HyBoLT (hypersonic boundary layer transition) rocket-boosted experimental project suggest a software fault was to blame.

HyBoLT was aimed at gathering data on transition flow physics – one of the fundamental areas of mystery in the high-speed atmospheric flight regime – but was cut short 20 seconds after liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Island, Va., test site when the ATK-provided ALV X-1 booster went out of control.