The ground crew lost control of an unmanned spacecraft funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos recently, The Wall Street Journal's Andy Pasztor reports, and the failed test flight is a "major blow" to Bezos -- and privately-funded space missions. The craft, created by Blue Origin, was to take off on a suborbital flight from West Texas. It's unclear how much of the capsule was destroyed, or why it failed, but fragments of the craft could offer clues.

President Obama has called for more private investment in space following the end of NASA's space shuttle program in August; Blue Origin has received federal money to work on manned space flights. The Wall Street Journal's Shira Ovide notes that rich guys have had a tough time getting into space.
 
Above, Blue Origin's test rocket launching in 2006.