Headlines > News > Forks: Rubicon launch a week away

Forks: Rubicon launch a week away

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sun Aug 1, 2004 2:06 pm
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chabot imagepeninsuladailynews.com: FORKS — The aerospace engineers with Forks-based Space Transport Corp. now plan to launch their 23-foot rocket for the first time next weekend.

Eric Meier, the company’s vice president, said Saturday that the work on the spaceship Rubicon is going well, but that he and business partner Phillip Storm, Space Transport’s president, are waiting on the launch so that they’re not rushed.

They had previously talked about sending the rocket toward space early this week.
“We’re going to be doing a little bit more of the fine tuning for the flight sequence, for the ignition and the control system,” Meier said.

They tested the control system Friday night, and it performed as it should, Meier said.
The Rubicon will be launched from private property at Queets with only two of its seven engines loaded, in a one-stage blast that will take it to about 18,000 feet.

The 2,500-pound craft will carry 300 pounds of weight to simulate a manned flight.
Two parachutes will help Rubicon splash down in the Pacific Ocean about two to three miles offshore. Storm and Meier will retrieve the rocket by boat.

They are competing for the $10 million Ansari X Prize and have until the end of the year to launch an astronaut in Rubicon, which they call a “suborbital tourism vehicle.”
The craft is ultimately intended to take up to three passengers to the suborbital altitude of 62 miles, just inside the window of space.

On July 4, Storm and Meier launched a smaller rocket from near Forks to 10.5 miles.

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