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IOS Rocket to Launch in 2010

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:26 am
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IOS Rocket to Launch in 2010 
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Post IOS Rocket to Launch in 2010   Posted on: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:26 am
http://www.matangitonga.to/article/feat ... rize.shtml

PURSUING a dream to develop a private space port in Tonga, a couple of space entrepreneurs have the blessing of Tonga's king to build a small rocket launch site on the king's estate on the southern tip of 'Eua this year, with the aim of launching a rocket before the end of 2010.

Image

Image

...They want to ship their IOS NEPTUNE 30 three stage rocket in a 40ft container from California to Tonga, along with containers for the launch site equipment. The 9.6 metre rocket has a 1.86m girth and a lift-off weight of 8,477 kg.

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So, anyone got any thoughts on this? I will try and get an interview if anyone has any questions!

Interesting
Good luck Randa! :)


Rob

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Post Re: IOS Rocket to Launch in 2010   Posted on: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:32 am
Suprised they are not going somewhere like American Samoa that is within the Itar regime.

But I can foresee a lot of 'spaceports' springing up in the Pacific, mostly for the same reasons nuclear test sites proliferated. Basically, its very hard to damage other people with errant rockets.

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Post Re: IOS Rocket to Launch in 2010   Posted on: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:01 pm
<http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=18780.new#new>
See 8/16/2010 Post with Image of Interorbital Liquid Fuel Tank
(NASASpaceFlight.com Forum > General Space Flight (Atlas, Delta, ESA, Russian, Chinese) > Commercial Launchers (Inc. Orbital COTS/CRS) > Topic: InterOrbital space activities)


Interorbital's CEO Randa Milliron reports that the pictured fuel tank is one being prepared for near term flight tests. Several flights, including one spaceflight with a paying customer, are planned before any orbital attempt, and these will use a single “Module” with a fuel tank like that pictured.

This tank is 24 inches in diameter, and when full of fuel, will bring the Module mass to 4000 pounds. A “Fuel Mass Fraction” of 87% was claimed by Randa (although I am not certain if this included all module hardware in the “inert fraction”, or just the fuel tank and its associated fittings). This is fairly high for a pressure fed, liquid fuel system, and is made possible using either aluminum or thin stainless steel liners and wound fiber reinforcement (Graphite?). Another 6000 to 7000 pound thrust motor is being prepared for static testing, and will be mated with its fuel tank soon. Fuel is the IOS standard, IWFNA (Inhibited White Fuming Nitric Acid) with a hydrocarbon mix dominated by Turpentine. (“Inhibited” refers to small additives in commercial grade WFNA which greatly restrict its reaction with normal Stainless Steel Tanks.)

One lower altitude flight test will be flown at the nearby “Mojave Test Area”, with a 50,000 foot waver clearance. That flight will have a restricted fuel loading to qualify as an Amateur, Class 3 rocket flight. Arrangements have been made for subsequent suborbital flights to be conducted at “Spaceport America” (New Mexico Spaceport). Like the current spaceflights flown by UP Aerospace, those flights can be tracked from the White Sands rocket facility across the low mountains to the east.

Unlike the solid fuel UP Aerospace flights, Interorbital's takeoff will begin at less that 1 g acceleration, with long sustained thrust. Peak altitude is projected to be 100 to 120 miles (Possibly 200 km), and the flights are to be guided. Guidance will use “Secondary Fluid Injection” in the motor (effective only while the motor is running) for these flights. (Differential throttling is planned for guidance of the Orbital Launch Cluster.) One of these 100 to 120 mile altitude flights will carry 100 to 150 pounds of payload for the “Paying Customer” mentioned earlier.

The schedule for flights to orbit with Interorbital vehicles “Has Slipped” (like every schedule in aerospace – Except for Burt Rutan's – since he refuses to reveal any schedule for future events!) Randa implied that the “Customer's” New Mexico flight would occur early next year, with a high altitude test flight before that very likely.

The above picture, and additional information, are Good News for any of us who have been hoping (even Praying) for Interorbital success. No other space launch offers to carry experimental spacecraft with any kind of propulsion (even CO2 or Freon jets)! In my opinion, Interorbital offers the only hope of success with the Google Lunar X PRIZE. With all other launch services, now existing or under development, flying a fueled lander and transfer stage either creates an unacceptable risk to reusable launch hardware, human crew members and other payload systems, or simply costs too much to make the GLXP a good gamble!

Richard Speck, Micro-Space


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