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Advanced Rocketry News
August - December 2003

Index

Aerospike engine test by CSULB and Garvey
Cal State U. at Long Beach - Aerospace Engineering
Succesful firing on June 23, 2003 of a liquid fueled aerospike engine
built by students at Cal. State University at Long Beach Aerospace
Engineering
in collaboration with Garvey Spacecraft.

Articles here describe news and developments in advanced amateur and student rocketry, experimental rocketry, and innovations at small entrepreneurial rocket companies.

See the Advanced Rocketry section for links and resources in these areas and be sure to check out the Records, Achievments & Competitions section.

The RLV News section also overlaps with this section, especially with regard to the X PRIZE competition. See RLV Countdown for links to suborbital and X PRIZE projects by small organizations.

December 12, 2003

Aerospike & other studies are on the agenda according to Dr. Eric Besnard, professor at the CSULB Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, and John Garvey, head of Garvey Spacecraft. They led the student/industry team that just launched their second rocket with an aerospike nozzle on a liquid fueled engine. They were the first to succeed at flying such a system. See their launch news page, which has a new photo of the rocket returning via parachute.

The team has a number of possible avenues of research to follow, assuming they can obtain funding. According to John:

Related to aerospike performance studies, altitude compensation
measurements are only one component of the research space. Eric can give
you the specifics, but here are some other areas of interest, in large part
for refining CFD models:

  • Plume interaction with the boundary layer at near-transonic conditions
    (note - this is actually at low altitudes and velocities, which we can
    achieve with the current vehicles if we have an engine with appropriate
    burn characteristics)

  • Plume interaction with the boundary layer under asymmetric
    engine/vehicle orientations (i.e. - different angles of attack and/or
    during engine gimbaling if that is how thrust vector control is
    implemented)

  • Plume configurations for a variety of thrust vector control techniques
    and flight conditions

To fully address these, we need to achieve the expansion ratios of a high-performance engine - on the order of say fifty-to-one. However, the present aerospike engine is designed for an expansion ratio of around five, primarily because of the limitations of the engine materials that we can afford and the scale of the vehicle/engine. The width of the exit orifice is on the order of millimeters - it would have to be reduced by a factor of ten to get the high expansion ratios with this size engine [...]. This might be doable, but EDM graphite (the material from which the exit ring and spike are made of for cost reasons) erodes quickly, so the expansion ratio decreases as the gap widens during a burn. Thus, we could do more to increase the general performance of the [Prospector 4 rocket] (add a regulated GHe pressurization system, increase chamber pressure, throw on more instrumentation, even add TVC, conduct a series of static fire test to really characterize engine burn parameters, etc.), but can only go so far with respect to data quality/validity until we improve the engine more.

One option we have tried to pursue is replacing the graphite elements with high-temperature materials that experience much lower erosion rates and potentially much tighter dimensional tolerances and stability. However, not surprisingly, these materials are expensive - based on the initial costs estimates we have been getting, our team can build an entire new vehicle for the price of a single set of such components at standard prices. Our proposals to get external funding to procure such components have not been picked up (in general, we are a lot more successful at flying vehicles than winning contracts and aerospikes are not of as much interest to the core aerospace community as they were five years ago when X-33 was underway), so our other option here is to find a materials outfit that is interested/willing to work with us at discounted rates.

Alternatively, Eric has some ideas about next-generation aerospike engines that would be more effective in dealing with these constraints than the present design (which we have always considered to be an early interim configuration) and would have more fidelity with the operational configurations that NASA, Rocketdyne, et. al. have developed over the years. These too are dependent on advanced materials, but we believe we can get started on developing the key elements with our existing capabilities and contacts. However, such an approach probably means it would be a while again before we put an aerospike vehicle back into the air.

The SDSU/Flometrics team didn't get a chance for a launch last weekend but they did get a good dress rehersal for their next chance as shown by the pictures at the SDSU Rocket Launch page.

December 10, 2003

Aerospike launch update... The Cal State Long Beach site now has a report with photos on the launch: Successful Second Liquid-propellant Aerospike Engine Flight Onboard P-4 - CSULB - Dec.10.03.

December 8, 2003

CSULB/Garvey aerospike launch success... The second flight of a liquid fueled engine with an aerospike nozzle was a success! The Prospector 4 rocket built by Cal State Long Beach and Garvey Spacecraft took off from the Mojave test site of the Reaction Research Society (RRS) over the weekend and returned safely to the ground.

The problem with the engine in the first aerospike flight in September did not occur this time. "Overall it was a very good flight. The engine worked flawlessly this time." See photos and videos of the launch and parachute return.

Thanks to Steve Harrington for this item.

SDSU/Flometrics launch postponed... This message from Steve Harrington of Flometrics about the rocket built with the AIAA chapter at San Diego State University:

The good news is that we got the rocket back in perfect condition, the bad news is that Edwards Air Force Base was using the airspace and the wind was picking up, so we were not able to get a launch window. We will try again soon. Also, since the rocket is finished, we will start work on the pump rocket which will use two of our pumps to acheive a mass ratio of 4 or so without expensive components or processes. This will give us the capability to launch to 100 miles, if we can get the paperwork figured out and we can find some more sponsors.

December 5, 2003

Unity update... The website has been moved and updated for the Brigham Young / Utah State Unity IV hybrid rocket project. The site offers videos and pictures of the 20 foot vehicle to 4400 feet and its recent launch on December 2.

December 3, 2003

Utah hybrid launch... A Brigham Young/Utah State student team on Dec 2 launched a 20 foot hybrid rocket to 4400 feet from the Dugway Proving Grounds in western Utah. BYU team member Brady Woolford says the Unity IV project should soon have video and pictures on their website. (Got the news originally via ia Jonathan Goff)

December 2, 2003

Weekend launches... Steve Harrington of Flometrics sent out this announcement today:

We will be launching a LOX/Kerosene 1000 lb thrust rocket on Sunday Dec 7th at the reaction research society MTA (www.rrs.org)

The San Diego State/Flometrics team learned about hard starts in September. (See www.sdsurocket.org ) The rocket has been repaired and improved and we are going to launch on Sunday. The Garvey Spacecraft/Cal State Long Beach Team [see item below] will be launching an upgraded version of their aerospike rocket as well. There will be other launces and tests as well.

The SDSU rocket project is intended to give the students a good hands on introduction to liquid fueled rockets. I will be teaching rocket propulsion next semester and the class project will be to design, build and static fire a LOX/Kero rocket which uses our low cost fuel pump (www.rocketfuelpump.com) The pump allows for a low cost rocket booster that can achieve a high mass ratio without low safety margins, perfect welding, exotic materials etc that drive up the costs of typical boosters.

If you would like to come out to the launch (near Mojave, about 2 hrs from LA ) let me know and I will send instructions.

News brief... Garvey Space and Cal State Long Beach plan to launch another rocket with an aerospike nozzle this weekend: Students Prepare for the Second Liquid-propellant Aerospike Engine Flight Onboard P-4 - CSULB - Dec.1.03

November 26, 2003

Aerospike problems identified... The team of Garvey Spacecraft and the Cal State Long Beach Aerospace Engineering Department launched a rocket on September 22nd that was powered with a liquid fueled engine using an aerospike nozzle. While the vehicle lifted off successfully it "did not get the duration or clean plume" as obtained with a static test.

According to the latest news update on the Garvey website, the problems seem to have been found and corrected. Another flight will take place soon:

"Prospector 4 flight test is still scheduled for 6 December 2003 at the Mojave Test Area. The P4 will incorporate the refurbished aerospike engine that previously flew on the Prospector 2 vehicle in September. This engine incorporates several modifications that hopefully will correct the burn anomalies observed on that flight. In addition, several student experiments are still candidates to fly as payloads on this launch."

November 16, 2003

More sites about advanced rocketry were posted on a forum recently. Some of the ones had had not seen before included:

  • Cornell ASTRO - student project to develop a series of autonomous launch vehicles (ALVs) that can take off vertically, hover, and land by themselves.
  • CERTA is a "new, not for profit organization which promotes math, science and techology education through hands on experience and participation in experimental rocketry."
  • FITSat III - This project at Florida Tech involves "the design and construction of a rocket, deployable vehicles, and a control and wireless communications system. The rocket will carry the vehicles in its internal cargo bay and release them at a predetermined altitude. The vehicles will collect data, which then will be transmitted to a ground station for storage and analysis."
  • The MIT Rocket Team - "formed in an effort to become the first student group to launch a rocket into space. Begun in 1998, the team has developed a new type of rocket engine, and is currently in the process of testing the engine design."
  • Rocketry Information Center includes this set of Projects Quick Links to other advanced rocketry projects.

November 12, 2003

Advanced rocketry sites... The FlyRockets.com site has welcomed members of the public curious about rockets who watchied the recent Discovery Channel programs on rocketry. The webmaster was kind enough to include a link to HobbySpace on the websites page, which includes several cool rocketry sites I wasn't familiar with.

See for example the neat projects at ARLISS - A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites.

November 10, 2003

Cape pad for student rockets... The Florida Space Authority will launch Super-Lokis and other sounding rockets for student projects from Launch Complex 47 at Cape Canaveral: Florida Space Authority will Run Cape Launch Pad for Education - Space.com - Nov.7.03

October 26, 2003

Aerospike info... Mike Fisher of Binder Design has posted a web site about his Aerospike Motor that uses composite fuel.

October 23, 2003

More amateur aerospikes... See the gallery at Northwest Rocketry for photos of a test firing of a composite motor with an aerospike nozzle. It's built by Mike Fisher of Binder Design. (Other than this page - Experimental - I couldn't find any other info on the project such as what components make up the composite fuel.)

Update: See also Aerospike Motor Test Successful by Binder Design - Rocketry Online - Oct.23.03

October 20, 2003

Amateur hybrid milestones... Andrew Case has posted some highlights of amateur contributions to hybrid rocketry in the Advanced Rocketry: Records, Achievements & Competitions section.

October 7, 2003

Save Rocketry Now campaign! See Space Log.

September 28, 2003

Aerospike project background... Dave McCue, "one of the greybeards assisting the [CSULB] students", posted this Aerospike engine flies at MTA - Dave McCue - ERPS Forum on the background of the project. He also responds in several postings to a discussion about the number of engine tests prior to the launch. (See also Steve Harington's remarks below.)

The news about the aerospike launch was also posted at Slashdot.

September 27, 2003

Hard start to learning... As the picture and video at SDSU Rockets show, the rocket business can be very difficult, though very dramatic. Steve Harrington of Flometrics and an instructor in rocketry at SDSU reports on their launch attempt last weekend and also on the CSULB/GSC aerospike launch:

The SDSU team learned about hard starts the hard way. see www.sdsurocket.org and click on "hard starts" This type of test helps create interest for a program that teaches students about real rocketry, and spectacular failures (like the one the SDSU students experienced) are excellent learning tools.

The CSULB/Garvey group achieved a small but significant advancement in the state of the art. They were the first to fly an aerospike powered rocket. The engine had a leak around the nozzle, which caused the steel to melt and the thrust to push the vehicle over.

They knew it was risky, but they also knew that a full set of static fire tests would be expensive and time consuming. Consider each test consumes a tank of LOX and Helium ignitors, ablative liners, fuel, all the hardware and electronics that may be lost in the event of an explosion etc. On average the cost is going to be a few thousand dollars at least. Better than the millions that it would cost the big guys, but still not cheap.

Keeping student interest and excitement up is not compatible with exhaustive testing. NASA has been talking about workforce development for a long time and Garvey has been doing it.

Steve
Flometrics
www.rocketfuelpump.com

Rocket posters... Check out the posters (in pdf files) given by CSULB students on their rocketry projects at the recent AIAA Space 2003 conference.

September 25, 2003

Aerospike publicity... Keith Cowing has highlighted the CSULB/GSC aerospike launch at NASA Watch and the PR is also posted at Spaceref. Earlier, Leonard David posted a brief entry in the Astronotes section at Space.com.

September 23, 2003

Ambitious college project... The MaCH-SR1 Hybrid Rocket Launch Vehicle project at the University of Colorado seeks by 2008 to develop a sub-orbital rocket capable of:

  • Altitude of 75 miles (125 kilometers) sub-orbital space flight
  • Payload weight of 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
  • Reliable 13,000 lbf (58 kN) throttled LOX/HTPB hybrid engine
  • Recoverable/Reusable airframe

More info in this article: Rocket launch a goal for CU students - The Daily Camera - Sept.23.03

September 22, 2003

First Rocket Flight Powered
by a Liquid Fueled Aerospike Engine

Dragoon preparations
Photo by Tony Richards
Dragoon preparations
Photo by Tony Richards
Dragoon preparations
Photo by Kim Garvey
Dragoon preparations
Photo by Kim Garvey
Prospector 2 with aerospike engine
(Click on pictures for larger versions.)
These and other photos and a video at
CSULB/GSC Team Conducts First Powered Liquid Propellant Aerospike Flight Test - Eric Besnard

The team of Garvey Spacecraft and the students of the Cal State Long Beach Aerospace Engineering Department succeeded this past Saturday in launching a rocket for the first time anywhere with a liquid fueled aerospike engine. The performance of the engine ( a "1,000 lbf LOX/ethanol aerospike engine designed and developed by CSULB students") was not perfect and the landing crushed the payloads but it was a great first step.

Congratulations to the CSULB/GSC team!!

John Garvey reports:

"We conducted the Prospector 2 liquid propellant aerospike flight test on Saturday. There were/are some issues about engine performance (it did not get the duration or clean plume like the one on the second static fire test) and even more questions about vehicle recovery with the new pneumatically-activated deployment mechanisms, but the rocket did get off the rail and into flight, which was the primary objective.

There were/are plenty of lessons-learned for future flight tests and the students certainly were exposed to a real flight project. ...The web sites are still being updated and we anticipate getting additional inputs over the next several days. Eric [Besnard] has a preliminary site with video and a bit more focus on student participation at: http://www.csulb.edu/~besnarde/"

More hybrids info... Via an entry at the Louisiana Mars Society I came across this informative set of pages at Hybrid Rocket Science posted by UK Rocketman. His site has other interesting items including these Avionics Tips and Gimballed Rockets sections.

September 20, 2003

Aerospike launch attempt today... John Garvey sent this message late last night: "Everything is Go for the Prospector 2 launch attempt tomorrow (Saturday) with the LOX/ethanol aerospike engine. The crew loaded the vehicle and engine into the van this afternoon. Richard has picked up the LOX, and Dave C. was out at the MTA starting to set things up. Things will start happening out at the MTA around 8 to 9 a.m."

Check also the CSULB page for status reports.

September 19, 2003

Hybrid with aerospike nozzle
eAc aerospike hybrid motor test - larger image

Aerospike hybrid... "eAc announces their involvement in a government funded program to develop an aerospike nozzle for hybrid rocket motor application. (Specifics of the program cannot be released at this time.)" The photograph above "shows one of the early firings. This test was cut short due to structural failure of the plug. Future design has addressed the structural issues and full duration firings are expected by month's end."

September 18, 2003

Hybrids on the rise?... With the continuing regulatory hassles over solid fuels, particularly ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP), perhaps more participants in high power rocketry will move to hybrid rockets. The informative site - FlyHybrids.org - provides lots on info about this safe but high performance propulsion alternative.

More about the MARS high altitude attempt... Richard Osborne of the MARS Advanced Rocketry Society sent me some interesting info about their upcoming launch, including how members stay in touch between Nevada and England via their own satellite link:

In case you're wondering how I can email them, one of our sponsors lent us a VSAT satellite terminal, so hopefully, they'll be able to get images from the onboard cameras straight back after launch. There are 2 high resolution CCD colour video cameras onboard, 1 looking sideways, and 1 looking along the length of the rocket. The video telemetry is transmitted down at S-band, and we've done it several times before, so the only glitch I can see there is connections working loose under the vibration of the motor (it's happenned a couple of times, so we're at least aware of it).

There are a bunch of altimeter/accelerometers (several R-DAS units and G-Wiz units for redundancy). An onboard GPS with an avionics system for it which we built this year. A bunch of UHF tracking beacons, and a stills camera. I've spoken to the team on Wednesday evening GMT, and whilst they're full of the usual optimism that they'll launch on Friday, I suspect by the time everything is ready, and all the umbilicals are hooked up to the rocket, it may be Saturday that the launch will take place.

September 17, 2003

MARS launch... A busy week for advanced rocketry. I just got the following announcement from the UK MARS group about a high altitude rocket attempt this Friday in Nevada:

On September 19th, a team of young British rocketry enthusiasts are preparing to put a year's hard work to the test, in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, U.S.A. The aim? To better the 25,400ft of the last September's record-breaking flight and hopefully set a new European amateur altitude record, a new altitude record for a UK built amateur rocket, and a new altitude record for a UK built hybrid rocket (amateur or professional). The team are members of the MARS Advanced Rocketry Society (MARS); the rocket is Deimos Odyssey, containing the largest amateur hybrid rocket designed, built and flown in the UK.

2002 saw the twenty-three-foot rocket leap off the pad in a cloud of dust, and thunder out of sight, reaching Mach 1 in 10 seconds and gaining a top speed of almost 1,000mph.

The engine behind this impressive performance, developed by the team, combines Nitrous Oxide and plastic to generate a over a quarter of a ton of thrust. The static tests carried out over this last year have been focused on three key areas in order to enhance the rocket's performance; these are a new injection system, a re-design of the nozzle and a revolutionary fill system. MARS are confident that through all of the hard work undertaken during static testing of the hybrid rocket motor, this year's launch will not only beat last years record altitude (a record for the highest altitude reached by a UK built amateur or professional hybrid rocket), but will also set a new European record, currently held by MARS at 34,500ft.

Deimos Odyssey is a step on the way towards putting Britain back in space. This winter work begins in earnest on the next generation rocket motor, to power the new vehicle Deimos 3, which calculations have shown can comfortably reach the 100km milestone--the edge of space.

Additionally, at the same launch campaign, MARS are planning on launching the GYROC - a MARS developed, gyro stabilised, gimbal controlled rocket with no fins, and no nosecone, steered entirely by motor thrust. This innovative rocket, the only gyro stabilised, gimballed amateur rocket in the UK, has been test launched several times previously, but will face its toughest test in the Black Rock Desert.

MARS is supported by a number of generous sponsors, including Pentax,
Swagelok North London, Linde Gas, Baco Metal Centres, Schlumberger and JVC Professional, without whom Britain's amateur space programme would not have been possible.

You can follow the launch campaign and find out more about the organisation at www.mars.org.uk and press should contact info@mars.org.uk for access to the media area.

September 16, 2003

Multi-launch weekend... Flometrics and students from San Diego State, UC at San Diego, and City College will launch a rocket at the RRS Mojave site this weekend in addition to the Garvey/CSULB aerospike launch mentioned below. See the Flometrics Rocket and the SDSU Rocket Project pages for details.

Early aerospike motor... Bill Claybaugh of the Reaction Research Society says that "an RRS member flew a solid propellant aerospike rocket using Micrograin (S/Zn) propellant in the early 1960's according to a conversation I had with an RRS member of that era; I believe the vehicle was 3" diameter. The flight _might_ be documented in an issue of the RRS News from that time period."

I'll note that a rocketry group in Utah also launched a small solid propellant aerospike earlier this year. The Garvey/CSULB effort, though, would be the first liquid fueled aerospike engine to launch, as far as I can tell.

Aerospike Motor Project
AIAA - Boston University Chapter Rocket Team
Assembled motor
Assembled motor
Nozzle parts
Nozzle parts
Test fire from video
Frame capture from video of a test firing.
Post test fire - red hot stainless steel
Post firing - Stainless Steel glowing orange hot
Full scale test fire
Full scale test firing

Boston University aerospike project... I received an email from Luke Colby, a grad student at Georgia Tech, with information about an aerospike motor project he worked on as an undergrad at Boston University. He sent me the above images and said the

"...note on the Aerospike test from the guys out in CA really caught my attention because I have worked with a team of students at Boston University on a similar Aerospike nozzle test program. I'm the founder and former president of the BU Rocket Team and over the past 2 years we have been working on experimental rocket motors and a flight vehicle...

...the last project we worked on before I [left] and a few of the key team members graduated in May was an Aerospike nozzle configuration. We developed it completely independently without knowledge of the Cal State at Long Beach team's very cool project and I am surprised to see just how similar our approaches to the nozzle design where. Of course in our case we were using solid propellant and as a result cast a rod and tube propellant geometry with propellant covering the central rod supporting the plug, instead of having a solid graphite rod as their engine does, but conceptually they are pretty similar.

Unfortunately the day we were going to launch our rocket the weather was so bad we had to just do a static test of the engine instead of a flight test, but the engine did work and if we had just had a little more time to work out the bugs we would have been the first student group to flight test an Aerospike nozzle. But Oh well... that's the way it goes I guess.

At any rate I thought your readers might be interested in seeing our version of an aerospike nozzle so I have attached a few photos of our motor so you can see our design. Additionally there are a couple frame captures from a subscale test fire of the nozzle and also the full scale test fire. The BU Rocket Team is planning on trying again this year to launch the rocket with the aerospike motor so if they do, I will let you know how it goes. Unfortunately I'm down at Georgia Tech now for grad school and so can't help them finish it but I remain very interested in all goings on with aerospike nozzle technology, which is why I am so pleased to see another team doing some work with them.

September 15, 2003

Upcoming aerospike launch... John Garvey says that "plans are still on for the Prospector 2 flight test of the ablative aerospike engine this coming Saturday/Sunday (20-21 September) out at the Mojave Test Area. We only received a solid confirmation about the availability of the launch site (and more specifically a launch rail) this past weekend, so we are only now really gearing up for it."

More info about the aerospike project at Garvey Spacecraft and Cal State at Long Beach. See, for example, this page with pictures of the engine and the vehicle.

This will be the first launch of a liquid fueled aerospike engine.

September 12, 2003

Engine tests & aerospike launch upcoming... The Department of Aerospace Engineering Rocket Project at Cal State San Diego will carry out a static engine test in collaboration with Flometrics at the Reaction Research Society's desert site during Sept.20-21. A firing in May tested the company's innovative pistonless fuel pump.

In addition, the Garvey Space/Cal State Long Beach aerospike rocket launch is planned for that same weekend.

September 10, 2003

Student payloads on sounding rockets... The NASA Student Launch program at Goddard Spaceflight Center will fire an Orion from Wallops Island on Sept.16th. carrying several student experiments: UVA Undergrads Ready for Launch - NASA Goddard - Sept.9.03. The launch will be webcast.

Alabama rockoon launchers ... In an interview on the SpaceShow Greg Allison of the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5) discussed on July 29th the group's amateur advanced rocketry projects, which involve balloons carrying the rockets to high altitudes before they launch.

August 18, 2003

More Loki's for student launches... A collaboration of Florida Space Authority, the Florida Space Institute and Brevard County Community College has purchased 200 Super-Loki surplus rockets for use in educational programs: Student Experimenters Have New Launch Options - Space News - Aug.18.03.

Robert Kleinberger's Lunar Rocket company is also developing new upper stages for the Loki that will provide for larger payloads.

August 14, 2003

Elementary school payload rockets to 70 miles... An educational program that involves student built payloads for Super-Loki sounding rockets recently had a successful launch in Florida:

At 10:00 am on 8 August 2003 a small payload from Rossmoor Elementary School in Los Alamitos, California launched a small payload to space, 70-mile altitude, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex LC-47. The launch, a cooperative effort between the Florida Space Authority (FSA), the Florida Space Institute (FSI), and the Lunar Rocket & Rover Co., Inc of Los Alamitos, CA, The launch is a milestone in rocketry in that this is the first elementary school to launch to space from Cape Canaveral.

More about this event and the program:

August 13, 2003

Aerospike launch update... Garvey Spacecraft reports that the RRS has submitted a flight waiver request to the FAA for the weekend of 20-21 September 2003.

New advanced rocketry group... I recently came across the site for Project Colimbo - Amateur Space Lift Team, which has ambitious plans for "development of a low cost, low earth orbit payload delivery system."

August 7, 2003

Aerospike launch upcoming... Garvey Space/Cal State Long Beach aerospike powered rocket launch scheduled for August 20-21: Students Prepare for the First Flight Powered by an Aerospike Engine Using Liquid Propellants - CSULB - Aug.6.04

August 3, 2003

TWiking rockets on line... Michael Mealling of Rocketforge has setup a "TWiki" page for advanced rocketry discussions called ArocketWiki. These facilities allow for more extensive interactions that normal forums. Documents, graphics, etc. can be shared and maintained within the space. Sort of like a collaborative web site. See Michael's posting for more info.

August 1, 2003

Prospector 2 with aerospike engine
Aerospike engine installed on the Prospector 2 rocket.

Aerospike Rocket in preparation... John Garvey sent me a couple of pictures of the Garvey Space/Cal State Long Beach aerospike engine recently installed on the Prospector 2 rocket.

He says that "vehicle integration is proceeding in time to support a launch attempt in the next month or so. Much of the attention is focused on developing a pneumatic-based recovery system. The pacing schedule item at this point is availability of the launch site."

Aerospike on P2
Prospector 2 on table with aerospike engine installed.
(Prospector 1 and 3, recovered from previous flights, hang
above and to the top left of the P-2)

With regard to the above picture he says "you might notice some of the other vehicles in the [...] photo (Prospector 1 and 3). All three of these have flown and been successfully recovered. We plan to re-fly the P-3 again after the P-2 aerospike experiment to continue development of various flight control technologies."


Continue to July 2003

 

 

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