collaboration takes off
from its launch pad in the Mojave on June 24, 2004.
A static fire
test the same day of a propylene/LOX
by the Garvey/CSULB
about the Mojave rocket tests ... John Garvey of Garvey
Space and the CALVEIN (California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative)
collaboration with Cal
State Univ. at Long Beach has forwarded to me the following
summary of the tests last week at the RRS
Mojave Test Area:
In case you
have not heard yet, the two CALVEIN field tests on Thursday produced
mixed results. On the positive side, the new EGSE gear and LabVIEW-based
software appear to have functioned as intended during the second
LOX/propylene static fire test, while the Prospector 4 with its
upgraded 1200 lbf-thrust LOX/ethanol engine achieved the desired
high-g launch. These are both good for future activities.
On the negative
side, the static fire burn experienced several significant anomalies,
first during ignition and then several seconds later into the
burn when a ball of fire erupted above the injector (fortunately,
control was maintained throughout these events and the burn was
terminated and SFTA was safed with relatively minor damage). In
the case of the P4, the recovery system malfunctioned, leading
to a high speed crash that destroyed both the vehicle and the
FMMR payload provided by USC. This failure is particularly frustrating
in that it involved exactly the same hardware and recovery approach
that were successfully demonstrated on the previous P4 flight
Here are several photos [Sorry, I don't have the bandwidth to
post these. A couple of them in reduced form are shown above.
- Ed.] that partially capture the activities at the MTA (thanks
due to the Flometrics/SDSU crew for the great action shots of
both the static fire test and the P4 launch up the rail). We are
still waiting for more to come in and will have a more complete
summary of events after inspection of the hardware in the lab
this coming Tuesday evening (note - there will NOT be a working
group meeting on Thursday). We hopefully can make good progress
with respect to determining the root causes for the anomalies
and failures and associated corrective actions. We'll also be
getting started on the updated test reports.
Among other things, scheduling complexity associated with two
tests made operations a tougher challenge than normal, particularly
because late arrival of key hardware items on Thursday morning
forced several changes in plans. We were lucky in that the excellent
weather held throughout the day. The more extensive documentation
used on these tests than on previous ones helped identify issues
and maintain control. Again, a lot of appreciation to all the
folks who made it possible to run these tests on a weekday.
More to come in the near future.
rocket tests ... Chirs Roberts of the San
Diego State Univ. Rocket Team posted a report on the aRocket
mailing list about tests yesterday at the Reaction
Research Society Mojave
Test Area. Here is most of it (with links added):
Garvey space systems
static fired a propylene/LOX
engine. This was the same combination they used in a test
back in March which seemed to work well, they changed something
on the valves this time (i think??). The engine had a rough start
and never fully developed full thrust, once it did the engine
started a small fire on the mount section and the test was aborted.
We were told that a Pressure transducer on the engine ruptured
leading to the fire.
The second test was a launch of the Long
Beach State/Garvey Space system Prospector
4 rocket. This was a Alcohol/LOX engine, which had a larger
than normal engine (which was needed for a payload experiment
from USC). The Launch of P4 was very nice. The larger engine made
this liquid take-off in a hurry. The flight was awesome, a short
3-4 second burn time put it around 5,000 ft (Rough guess!!), but
on the way down the recovery system did not work properly and
the nose cone did not come off and the rocket impacted the ground
about a half mile from the launch site. The once 12 foot rocket
was reduced to about 1.5 feet upon impact. Almost a flawless flight.
Last on the test stand was the San
group (which i am a part off). After having two unsuccessfully
flights the group decided to static test it's LOX/Kerosene engine
first this time. The test was a complete success! A first for
the SDSU group! The engine burned for approximately 12 seconds
and it as a good clean burn. The group was even able to see the
shock diamonds inside the plume. In addition the group added in
transducers and a load cell (max 75 lb thrust). On further investigation
of video footage the group did notice two minor problems which
will need to be addressed in the next flight. One was a hard start,
and the other was a continual leak in the the lox dome (which
has been a problem for a while). But overall the group was happy
to have a rocket work as they had hoped, after two failures.
SDSU Rocket Team
Here are some images from the SDSU/Flometrics test: Static
fire (1154x1450 pixels), Static
Setup (852x1136 pixels). Steve Harrington reports on aRocket
that "the specific impulse of this engine is 209 sec. Since
we had significant droop in our surplus regulators we did not achieve
the full impulse."
rocketry left out... Rand Simberg notes that the Aldridge
Committee sees space exploration as an important way to inspire
students to pursue technical subjects but didn't take the opportunity
to support hobby rocketry. Such support might have helped to defend
it and other technical hobbies against attacks
by over-zealous regulators: Even
More Aldridge Thoughts - Transterrestrial Musings - June.17.04
II launch - June 7, 2004
23 mile high for Paragon Dragoon II rocket... According
to Laura Cremers of Paragon
Astronautics the team successfully launched "the Dragoon
II rocket in our first attempt the morning of June 7, 2004, but
did not reach space. We are still analyzing the data, but estimate
at this time that the rocket reached 120,000 feet.[37km]"
25, 2004: Subsequent analysis indicates the apogee was probably
considerably less than 120k ft. The uncertainty in the altitude
is too big to provide a definitive value.]
goal of the amateur group is to reach 350k feet (107km.) This
altitude puts the launch at third on our list of amateur
rocket launch altitude records.
June 24th will carry out a "second flight of the Prospector
4 and the second static fire test of a LOX/propylene
engine. The Prospector 4 will use a standard LOX/ethanol 1200
lbf-thrust pintle ablative engine. It will also carry another USC-provided
experiment. The LOX/propylene static fire test will feature an updated
pintle injector design and the next set of upgrades to the electrical
ground support equipment architecture, specifically more extensive
use of LabVIEW functions for command and telemetry."
also are continuing to build the Nanosat
Launch Vehicle (NLV) Mockup. Recently, "they put the partially
completed stage elements vertical for the first time. This full-scale
vehicle mockup is intended to stimulate the requirements and design
definition process and to serve as a pathfinder for NLV-related
1 , 2004
GoFast launch pictures at
Deville's web site.
pump update... Steve
Harrington of Flometrics
distributed the animation above with the following update on their
fuel pump project:
chambers are used in each pump, each one being alternately refilled
and pressurized. The pump starts with both chambers filled (not
shown). One chamber is pressurized, and fluid is delivered to
the rocket engine from that chamber. Once the level gets low in
one chamber, the other chamber is pressurized; and flow is thereby
established from both sides during a short transient period until
full flow is established from the other chamber. Then the nearly
empty chamber is vented and refilled. Also I could not show the
main tank level going down in a looping animation.
Feel free to show it to you colleagues. Note that the valves work
in the animation, but it is not nearly as deluxe as the ones you
guys put out.
I know that for some people in the business it is not real until
it is animated, even though we tested the pump with a rocket engine:
paper(pdf) that deals with the application of the pistonless
pump for the Crew Exploration Vehicle ... We think that high pressure
tanks for pre-positioned propellant are not the best solution,
so the CEV needs pumps.
Note that the pistonless pump is a very robust system. Our pump
has been sitting in a rusty steel tank for a year and it still
works great. Try that with a turbopump or even a piston pump.
You definitely do not want to be rebuilding a pump on the way
back from Mars.
Here are links for two papers, the first one describes the pump,
and the second one shows why it trades well against turbopumps.
Dual Chamber Rocket Fuel Pump, July 2003 (pdf)
Vehicle and Spacecraft System Design using the Pistonless Pump,
April 2004 (pdf)
The next thing we are going to do is build a couple of pumps and
tanks to run both LOX and RP for an Atlas vernier in a flight
configuration with some students at SDSU.
had missed this article: Ham
Radio-Carrying Rocket Exceeds Goal; Avionics Recovered Intact -
ARRLWeb - May.19.04
more CSXT... A
longer video that shows more of the flight is now available at video
gallery - CSXT - the Civilian Space eXploration Team.
Note that besides
site, there is ROCKETMAN
vs. professional vs experimental... I
was contacted by someone who was concerned about the amateur label
for the CSXT launch. The CSXT team included two propulsion experts
from Environmental Aeroscience Corp. (eAc)
- Derek Deville and Korey Kline. As described by
their aRocket note,
they were deeply involved in the propulsion system for the
Go Fast vehicle. However, they did the work as a volunteer effort
and so Andrew and I consider that the project still falls under
the "amateur" category.
up the "amateur" issue on the aRocket
forum. The following was posted by Korey who suggests we look for
a better term to describe these kinds of advanced rocketry projects
carried out by volunteers that include people who work day jobs
in the rocket industry:
Time to lose
the term "Amateur"
As many of you may recall from previous posts, the term "Amateur"
has been a hot button issue for me for some time, so I'll try
my best to not rehash old discussions by simply summing up those
thoughts by stating: I have always been in favor of the term "Experimental"
because I think it's a more accurate description of our activity
and specifically because of the often overlooked third dictionary
definition of "Amateur"; -one lacking in experience and competence
in an art or science. Yes the term "Amateur" has a long and respectable
tradition; but it's time for a new paradigm.
As a member of the Burt Rutan SpaceShipOne Propulsion program
as well as the CSXT propulsion team, I would like to share a few
things I've learned from these experiences so let me start with
that's going to space is going to be BIG.
Perhaps in the old days of the RRS/PRS/RRI, TripoliX, HPR Rocket
Trophy the definition of "amateur" was relevant. Back then a rocket
that went to 50K
Ft could be built by a single individual. From my experience a
100K Ft rocket is going to take 4 to 5 serious team members. Now
that were talking +300K Ft, a team of 20 will be required. If
it's man rated I think you could double those numbers. For progress
to be made, the technical expertise required to reach those higher
altitudes will require at least some team members to have some
"Real World" professional experience.
Any group, organization or individuals whom are seriously interested
in advancing their own agenda to space, would jump at the chance
for a government grant, SBIR or commercial contract.
This effectively turns SUCESSFUL & INOVATIVE "Amateur" organizations
into "Professionals"; some are just better than others at marketing
themselves. Additionally anyone interested in rockets will naturally
migrate towards those types of professional jobs as individuals.
Groups that 5 years ago were truly recognized as "Amateur", many
have seen the light and accepted government money. Projects of
this size are also not going to happen without private funding
like the "GoFast" company.
My point being that the term "Amateur" is increasing becoming
irrelevant if we are trying to get to space in any reasonable
time. If you define "amateur" by any definition that will require
a bunch of accountants or some other judgment body who's interpretation
would essentially be arbitrary anyway, I would expect detractors
to minimize the attempt and endless debate for every altitude
attempt that comes along.
I would suggest and hope the rocket community would as of TODAY
accept the term "Civilian Altitude Record" meaning no direct governmental
funding! This falls inline with the original FINDS / CATS prize
as well puts the attempt on par with the more relevant X-Prize.
This maximizes the progress into space that I think we all are
looking for. It can be simply verified by whether or not there
is a government contract number directly associated with the altitude
attempt and all government contracts & SBIR's are publicly available
for viewing. What is the need for all the technicalities?????
Let's make it easy for everybody and move forward as a whole!!!!!
Altitude IS Progress!
Putting the CSXT altitude attempt in perspective, 77 miles is
higher than the expected altitude of the SS1 and requirement for
the X-Prize. So let me be the first to congratulate the Civilian
Space Exploration Team (CSXT) on their "Civilian Altitude Record"
of 77 miles!!!!!
K2 [Korey Kline]
of the launch are available at Rocket
congrats from the SFF: Go
"GoFast"! Space Frontier Foundation Congratulates First
Amateur Team to Enter Space - Space Frontier Foundation - May.19.04
effects... Andrew Case looks at the issue of misuse of
advanced rocketry technology: Amateur
Rocketry and Terrorism - Transterrestrial Musings - May.19.04
77 miles/124km + video... Another aRocket
posting from Andrew:
HOT NEWS -
The payload has been recovered and the data analyzed. It verifies
just over 77 miles max altitude.
Anything plastic touching the inside skin of the nose cone was
melted from the heat. The stickers were all gone but the anodizing
held up. The nose
cone tip was damaged on impact so ablation effects couldn't be
determined. The electronics were all in great shape. Weightless
for over 7 minutes.
Now my original
post that I was writing...
Korey and I were there to share in this wonderful experience.
The launch was flawless. The team assembled by Ky and led by Jerry
Larson was running like a well oiled machine. The base camp included
the GoFast bus and GoFast helicopter, there for search and rescue,
along with a significant array of ground station electronics and
antennas. I am confident that the data will be retrieved and will
validate the rockets travels into space. It was a real privilege
to be part of the team and we extend our thanks and congratulations
to all involved.
Now a little bit about our involvement with the team. We are newest
members of the CSXT team joining only six months ago. Since that
collaboration with Ky and Jerry, we have designed, developed,
and built the largest amateur rocket motor ever. The solid propellant
motor contained a derivation of the propellant that I have used
for my O and P motors for the past few years. The motor is designated
as an S-50000 containing 435 lbs of AP based propellant configured
in a monolithic case-bonded grain with a central fin-o-cyl core
with a nearly neutral thrust profile. The case was aluminum 6061
with an OD of 10" and 175" long. The end closures were retained
with two rows of radial bolts. The nozzle was created from a new
process using a combination of graphite, carbon fiber, and ablative
materials and featured a bell shaped exit cone. A number of static
tests were performed on 3" and 6" hardware to characterize the
propellant. A full scale static firing revealed issues with the
motors end closures that were corrected for the flight motor.
Chuck Rogers assisted in designing the test configurations and
in addressing issues such as erosive burning and nozzle losses.
The propellant, known as D8, in 6" P-motor sub-scale testing had
a delivered Isp of 222.6 seconds. This results in a final minimum
delivered total impulse of 96,831 lb-sec. We believe that the
flight motor should have had a slightly higher delivered Isp due
to altitude effects and delivered just over 100,000 lb-sec.
Video of the launch is at http://www.hybrids.com/video/csxt_flight.mpg
miles/113km... This posting at arocket was forwarded
to me my Andrew Case:
I just got
a call from Ky out at Black Rock (Tue 5/18 7:45pm cdt). They found
the payload section intact 20 miles from the launch site and had
just returned to base. They are opening it up right now.
The 12,000lb thrust motor burned for 10 seconds and pushed the
rocket to an estimated 4,200 miles per hour. The GPS units cut
in and out so the exact speed and altitude are not determined,
but the altitude is estimated to be 70 miles.
The pyrotechnic separation of the rocket sections worked as planned
and the nosecone section landed under a Rocketman R4 parachute
and landed on the side of a mountain.
It is believed that the booster/motor section came in ballistic.
3 sonic booms were heard as it re-entered. [possibly echoes from
the mountains? - jph]
Ky will be calling in to a morning radio program in the Twin Cities:
KS95 at 6:45am Wed morning. Several television talk show appearances
are scheduled (I don't have the times yet).
Ky said that everything went perfectly on the first launch attempt
and the flight was flawless.
Quite an accomplishment! Congratulations again to the CSXT team.
CSXT article... This
article - Team
Claims Success With Rocket Launch - Space.com/AP - May.18.04
- brings up the question of whether this will be recognized as an
official record at Federation
Aeronautique Internationale. In our records
page here, we cite the previous max altitude for an amateur
group as 80km by George Garboden and Reaction
Research Society, Nov.23,1996, Black Rock, Nevada with the as
2-stage booster with Dart 2nd stage.
BTW: The article
puts Burt Rutan and the SS1 in with "other amateur groups"!!
CSXT article... The CSXT launch is getting wide coverage:
rocket fired into space - BBC - May.18.04
CSXT reports... First
amateur rocket blasts into space - New Scientist - May.18.04
on Cloud 9 - TwinCities.com - May.18.04 (via spacetoday.net)
amateur team finally reaches 100km.Ky Michaelson's Civilian
Space eXploration Team made it to space last Sunday with the
21-foot ‘Go Fast’ rocket: Rocket
Carrying Ham Radio Payload Reaches Space! - ARRLWeb - May.17.04
RocketForge). See May
7th press release.
article at space.com:Homegrown
Rocketeers Prepare for Their Next Space Shot - Space.com - May.12.04
From Jon Goff comes word of the latest udpate: Structure
Finished, Looking for Regulators, and Plumbing Work - BYU Space
Development Club - Catalytic Torch Igniter Project Updates - May.11.04
goes for record launch...
Ky Michaelson's CSXT group will try again to break the amateur altitude
rocket space shot scheduled for May 17th, 2004.
(Civilian Space eXploration Team) has received approval from the
Federal Government to conduct its historic space launch later
this month. “We’re confident that our ‘Go Fast’ Space Shot 2004
Rocket will be the first rocket built by amateurs to be launched
into space,” says CSXT founder, Ky Michaelson.
The CSXT team was formed with two goals: to achieve something
that has never been done before and to open the doors to low cost
space launches for the private sector - proving that space is
open for exploration and use by everyone and not just the world’s
The CSXT team is comprised of 18 rocket and space enthusiasts
from across the country led by Program Manager Jerry Larson, “I
am proud to be part of a group of such talented and resourceful
people – the team is destined to win the amateur space race.”
“This will be a great milestone for civilian rocketry,” says project
co-leader and avionics team manager, Eric Knight, who has designed
a state of the art avionics package that provides real-time video
and tracking information, including engine performance, speed,
The 21-foot ‘Go Fast’ rocket will reach a speed of over 4000 MPH
in less than 9 seconds and reach a maximum altitude of 69 miles.
The ‘Go Fast’ rocket is sponsored by Go Fast Sports & Beverages
and Fuscient, LLC (www.fuscient.com)
Ky Michaelson www.civilianspace.com
1 , 2004
fuel pumps and student rockets...
Steven Harrington of Flometrics
circulated this update:
and presentation at the Responsive Space conference are both up.
The paper includes a trade study which shows that a first stage
which uses the pistonless pump is comparable or lighter than a
gas generator turbopump system without the expense of a turbopump
development program... The students are working hard on their
next rocket, see www.sdsurocket.org
for details on that project. Also the students in my rocket propulsion
class are working on the design details of an Atlas vernier powered
rocket which will use the pump to achieve a mass ratio of 4. We
are planning on a static test later this summer. The flight test
will require a bit of paperwork, since the projected altitude
of the vehicle is over 100 miles."
State Long Beach/ Garvey
Spacecraft collaboration has built a full scale mockup of its
Launch Vehicle (NLV) that would put 10kg into LEO. See Garvey
Spacecraft - News.
Jon Goff and fellow students form the BYU
Space Development Club. Check out the latest on their igniter
Torch Igniter Project Updates - Apr.26.04
its first large vehicle:
Enterprises, a Colorado Springs-based small payload sub-orbital
launch company, announced its first successful launch on the Road
to Space. The LC rocket reached an altitude of approximately 6000
feet at 3:30 MDT on April 17th. Total burn time for the engine
was less than three seconds.
Several seconds into the flight the nose cone sheared, causing
the recovery system to lock up and fail to deploy. The craft crashed
on the launch range and was fully recovered.
The flight was considered a success by the Beyond-Earth team as
several new technologies were proven during the flight: the fin
section and motor mounts allowed the craft to fly straight and
true; during the crash, LC collapsed along crumple zones as designed
which minimized damage to the landing site and cargo. Even though
the rocket was destroyed, more than 80% of the cargo survived.
Joe Latrell, CEO of Beyond-Earth Enterprises, says the company
is highly motivated to encourage the average American to reach
for space again. "We want [the public] to see that they could
go to space someday--soon. This is a minor setback. We expect
some things to break now-we'll learn from our mistakes. We're
already working on the next launch for Memorial Day Weekend! We
have a great team."
Launch Craft -Mission One (LC-MO01) carried a demonstration payload
of student contest entries, stuffed animals, and coins.
About the Road to Space series-This series of rockets is to prove,
over the next two years, that rockets can be at least as safe
as airplanes, leading the way for Space Tourism. The next flight
in the series will be May 29, 2004.
About Beyond-Earth Enterprises--Originally an X-Prize competitor,
Beyond-Earth is leading the way to commercialization of space
by providing small payload launch capabilities at affordable rates.
Beyond-Earth officers are committed to revitalizing the American
Public's interest in Space and conduct educational demonstrations
and lectures at area schools. The company is headquartered in
Colorado Springs, Colorado, with launch facilities at the Oklahoma
Space Port. Additional information can be found at http://www.beyond-earth.com
launches aerospike... A
team from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, the U.S. Air Force
Flight Test Center (AFFTC), and Blacksky
Corp. announced the successful launch of a solid-fueled rocket
with an aerospike nozzle : Aerospike
Engine Flight Test Successful - Dryden Flight Research Center -
Apr.19.04 * Photo
gallery. The rocket was built by built by Cesaroni
Technology. The team claims this test provides"the first
known data from a solid-fueled aerospike rocket in flight."
As pointed out
by a HS reader, the press release does
not mention the Cal
State Long Beach/Garvey
Spacecraft team that twice successfully launched an aerospike
nozzle on a liquid fueled engine last year: Adv.
Rocketry News - Sept.22.03 & Dec.10.03.
Also, a few
years ago a guy in Utah launched a small solid rocket with an aerospike
nozzle. It was mentioned in Aviation Week but I have no reference
info on it.
Technology. Via a posting on today's aRocket
discussion mailing, Anthony Cesaroni reported that "NASA flew
our first aerospike motor successfully today and made a full recovery
under canopy. I don't have any details yet. Tests 2 and 3 go off
tomorrow and Wednesday, conditions permitting."
the earlier news
item about the program, blacksky
company is helping NASA Dryden Aerospike Program with flight
vehicles and integration.
(Item via Andrew
The CSULB/Garvey team posted a page with pictures and videos of
their recent static engine test: Static
Fire Test of 500 lbf Thrust-Class LOX/Propylene Engine Conducted
on March 6 - CSULB - Mar.29.04
John Garvey reports on the recent LOX/propylene static fire test
at the Mojave Test Area onMarch, 6th with the Cal
State Long Beach student team:
500 lbf-Thrust LOX/Propylene Engine Test - Garvey Spacecraft Mar.17.04
The engine would
power a two stage vehicle that could put a 10kg payload into orbit:
Nanosat Launch Vehicle
(NLV) - Garvey Spacecraft
challenge proposals... I posted in RLV
News a set of proposals from Korey Kline (Environmental
Aeroscience Corp) for rocketry related competitions as part
of NASA's Centennial
Igniter blog... The HV
Igniter Project Web Log reports on the latest developments in
source rocketry project.
info... Andrew Case has updated the rocket igniter section
- at the ArocketTWiki
site hosted by Michael Mealling's Rocketforge.
Phoenix launch review was sent out by Steve Harrington
Diego State University) tonight:
rocket launched, but lost power shortly after ignition. The problem
was rust and scale inside the cooling jacket which quickly clogged
the injectors on the fuel side. The heat and pressure must have
knocked the rust loose, because it was cleaned beforehand. The
engine ran very LOX rich at very low thrust. Luckily it did not
fall too far so most of the components, including the engine,
are salvageable. When we were doing the failure investigation
we also came up with a few additional areas that need improvement:
- All fittings
must be serviceable without removing any rivets. At first glance,
it appeared that we lost helium pressure because fittings were
leaking. This brought up the issue of access and preflight inspection.
- We need
better telemetry, our low budget system consists of a telescope
and some gauges on the rocket. If the lighting is not right
(it wasn't) then we can't verify fuel, LOX and helium pressure
- The rocket
needs to be designed for flight AND display. The students exhibited
the rocket at high schools, university events, etc. During these
events, they would fill the rocket with 100 psi of compressed
air and blow it down. This practice thrilled the spectators,
but also may have filled the cooling jacket with condensation
which led to the rust. Also, taking the rocket around town in
the back of a pickup subjected it to side loads for which it
was not designed.
students are still excited about the project and are ready to
start rebuilding immediately. I told them they have to finish
their method of characteristics homework first. We have enough
students to rebuild the exisiting rocket and start designing a
pumped rocket designed to reach 100 miles using our pump technology.
The pump can be used to help reduce the weight of launch vehicles
and spacecraft and it would be a good option for the Crew Exploration
Vehicle that the President proposed.
Some additional links of interest regarding this project:
If you would
like to help rebuild the rocket, we need some 1"X 20' square aluminum
tubing, some .02 thick alclad sheet and some 1/2" marine plywood.
We also need a video camera and some pressure transducers (1x2000
psi and 2x1000psi).
Nils Sedano (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for information on how to donate to this program.
test last weekend was a static test rather than a launch. In a message
(via Andrew Case) posted on the ARocket forum, Dave McCue of CSULB
said that they tested a LOX/propene (propylene) engine. The goal
was to study "the issues involved in handling and firing propene
at ambient temperature, where propene is only a liquid if confined
under pressure (about 150 psi)."
was an ablative-lined composite chamber with a pintle injector.
Unfortunately, the tip of the pintle melted off about one second
into the burn, causing the propene and LOX to mix in a stream
instead of a conical spray pattern. The engine continued to run
for a total of about 15 seconds, in two 7 to 8 second runs.
Data from the test shows that the engine reached design thrust
of 500 lbf and a chamber pressure of about 250 psi before the
pintle failed. Thrust and chamber pressure decreased by half with
the loss of the tip of the pintle, proving that just about anything
will work if you can get it lit!
We did the second engine run about 20 seconds after the first,
since there was residual flame in the chamber and more propellant
in the tanks. Figuring that the safest way to get rid of the propellants
was to burn them in the engine, we opened the valves for the second
run. The engine started smoothly and performed as it did for the
first run. This was encouraging, because we have heard that propene
is prone to hard starts.
He said more
details will be posted later at the CSULB
launch falls short... A malfunction on the San Diego
State/Flometrics rocket yesterday caused its engine to shutdown
shortly after takeoff: SDSU
Rocket Launch - March 6, 2004. It did not explode upon landing,
which should obviously help in finding the cause of the problem.
Also, it looks like much of the hardware can be saved.
No word yet
on tests at the same site by the Cal
State Long Beach/Garvey
brief ... Waiting to hear about todays launch attempts
by the rocketry groups at San
Diego State University and Cal
State at Long Beach. Here's a nice article about the SDU program:
students at SDSU hope to soar sky-high today - SignOnSanDiego.com
L5 Society continues work on their H2O2 engine:Update
on the Sacramento L5 Hydrogen Peroxide Motor - Feb.04
and other aerodynamic software
is available from AeroRocket,
which "specializes in high speed aerodynamics, Computational
Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and aerospace technology related software development.
Other services include Visual Basic/C++ computer programming, structural
analysis and wind tunnel testing using AeroRocket's subsonic wind
(Supersonic Experimental and Recoverable Rocket Assembly) student
rocket project in Florida is showing progress: SERRA
(link via Andrew Case) ...
Sacramento L5 Society is studying H2O2 engines: Static
Test of Hydrogen Peroxide Kerosene Motor
rocket launch announcement... Steve
Harrington of Flometrics
and San Diego State
University sent out this message yesterday:
Student/Small Business Liquid Fueled Rocket Launch
The San Diego
State/Flometrics team will be launching a LOX/Kerosene 1000 lb
thrust rocket on the weekend of March 6th and 7th at the Reaction
Research Society MTA [Mojave Test Area] Near Mojave CA.
We were not
able to launch last time due to high winds and the air force needing
the airspace. (see www.sdsurocket.org
) The rocket has been epaired and improved and we are going to
launch it, weather, the air force, and the FAA permitting.
Spacecraft/Cal State Long Beach Team will be launching one of
their LOX/Alcohol rockets as well. www.csulb.edu/colleges/coe/ae/rockets/
There will be other launches and tests.
The SDSU rocket project is intended to give the students a good
hands on introduction to liquid fueled rockets. I am teaching
rocket propulsion (kahuna.sdsu.edu/%7esharring/index.html)
this semester and many students in the class will be designing,
building and static firing a LOX/Kero rocket which uses our low
cost fuel pump (www.rocketfuelpump.com) Flometrics will donate
the pump and the students will be responsible for the design and
contruction of the rocket. The pump allows for a low cost rocket
booster that can achieve a high mass ratio without the expensive
turbopumps, 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, 4 hrs from SD ) let me know and I will send instructions.
If you would like more info about our rocket fuel pump, I will
be happy to send you a CD which shows the pump working with an
Atlas vernier rocket engine.
Furthermore, if you need any engineering services done, whether
flow visualization, CFD, thermal design, acoustics, product design,
analysis or testing, please contact me.
Steve Harrington Ph. D.
President, Flometrics, Inc. www.flometrics.com
Lecturer, San Diego State University, Aerospace Engineering
source hardware....The EagleFlyer
Project (link via Andrew Case) is an open
source hardware project in which anyone can contribute.
Eagleflyer board is a very versatile device used as a controller
and data collection device for amateur rocketry or remote controlled
vehicles. Among its capabilities are a wide array of sensors and
components, easy re-programmability, the ability to send/receive
data real time to any PC hooked up with a HAM radio and the ability
to be expanded with even more analog or digital sensors."
is led by Jamie Morken of the Rocket
Research group. More info at the Eagleflyer-chat
Spacecraft in the latest update reports:
next flight of the Prospector 3 vehicle, with upgraded thrust
vector control, is now scheduled to take place in early 2004.
This shift will provide more time for system-level evaluation
of the closed-loop control algorithms and associated servo actuator
The next launch
window at the Mojave Test Area now appears to be in the late February
/ early March timeframe. Plans are to re-fly the Prospector 3
vehicle for another thrust vector control flight test, potentially
in closed-loop mode. This flight will also evaluate new telemetry
formats and processes that have been developed during the last
adv. rocketry vendor... Checkout Australian
Experimental, which offers a "unique set of products devoted
to a highly specialized field that is experimental rocket propulsion."
See also and their list of experimental rocketry Links
launch for amateur/student rocket....The JAMSTARS,
an amateur rocketry organization in Florida that collaborates with
university and high school groups, has received confirmation that
they can use the Wallops
Island facilities for launch of their supersonic flight experiment
(Supersonic Experimental and Recoverable Rocket Assembly).
No date set yet, but presumably it will be late in the year. (This
info from Andrew Case.)
Note that the
group last year successfully launched the Jamstar
- Joint Aerospace and Meterology STratospheric Analysis Rocket.
They believe that launch holds the "unofficial record holder
for altitude and speed for a student built project."
of a large hybrid rocket
by the SORAC team
took place last year. Here is some additional info about it passed
along by Andrew Case:
28th of 2003 the SORAC team, under the leadership of Bill Colburn,
flew an 8" diameter, 270 lbm rocket to a height of 40,000 feet,
with successful parachute recovery. Maximum speed is estimated
at Mach 2. The Nitrous Oxide hybrid motor produced 2000 lbf thrust,
burning for 7 seconds."
See also the
section of the Advanced
Rocketry Records site.
books... Via a forum posting I came across this Rocket
Science Books Index. that includes books like Performance
and Properties of Liquid Propellants and A
Safety Manual for Experimental & Amateur Rocket Scientists.
engines are for sale at Hydrogen
Peroxide Rockets at Exotic Thermo Engineering (link via Mark
Stacey.) I'm starting a H2O2 list in the advanced
rocketry vendors section.
rocket parts sources come via Andrew Case who lists
these three sites:
Rocketman - Tim Pickens
- equipment built and collected by Tim (not all for sale)
Spruce Aviation Catalog - " less directly rocketry, but
they have huge amounts of useful stuff ...They sell stuff for
homebuilt aircraft. The online catalog isn't very good, but the
paper one is a must have."
Retail Sales - Investment Recovery & Surplus Sales - "It's
a real brick and mortar place, so it's only useful to people able
to make the trip to Seattle, but everyone I know who's been there
swears it's great. Not Rocketry specific, but there's aerospace
materials available there for pennies on the dollar, and probably
some real finds from time to time."
rocket parts... Joe Latrell of Beyond
Earth Enterprises, a HobbySpace
sponsor, notes the need for a place to buy parts for advanced rocket
'Space Depot' For The Rocket Builders by Joe Latrell - SpaceDaily
to this I heard via Bill Bruner, team leader of Rocket
Adventures, LLC, about these vendors:
carry surplus "1000 lb. thrust LOX/Kerosene LR-101 Atlas vernier
engines. They also have a few 1000 lb. thrust Hydrazine/RFNA LR-64s."
See some other
vendors of advanced rocketry equipment listed in the Advanced
to December 2003