Headlines > News > Micro-Space Press Release

Micro-Space Press Release

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:22 pm
Share
More share options
Tools

Micro-Space was not able to complete the FAA flight permit process in time for the 2006 X-Prize Cup event, nor were we able to get FAA permission to conduct a tethered flight demonstration at this event. The FAA permission would probably not be needed for tethered operation if this were not an FAA licensed “Air Show” event. The large public attendance mandated a careful FAA review of the tether design (and possibly system test procedures) to assure that the vehicle could not break free and crash into the crowd. To expect this to be accomplished in a few days was an impossible dream! We displayed our Lunar Lander vehicle, recovered flight test vehicles and an outline of our spaceflight concepts at the Las Cruces event.

We faced conflicting emotions during Armadillo’s attempts, since with their mastery of stabilized hovering flight they deserved a prize. On the other hand, controlled landing was a key part of the NASA Challenge and the entire prize total remains on the table. Armadillo’s lead (having flown this type vehicle at the X-Prize Cup a year earlier) evaporated when their FAA flight permit arrived only the day before the event, allowing only their first – flawed – practice flight. The competition flights, and marginal landings, were their first with manual control as a backup, unpracticed procedure.

Micro-Space remains a serious contender for these prizes. As a competitor who has already achieved both the required thrust from the motors used, and stabilized flight using gimbaled motors in a similar system, we are well positioned to be a winner. Our FAA permit application may now be judged “Substantially Complete”, which starts the clock on the maximum 120 day review process (the FAA acted much faster on the Armadillo permit). We already have three production vehicles which are being readied for tethered flight tests. These – or very similar units – are also designed to handle a double set of fuel tanks with little increase in empty weight. This step should bring the 180 second duration of level two competition within reach.

For more information visit the Official Micro-Space forum.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use