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Micro-Space: Three more flights

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Jun 2, 2005 3:12 am
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Richard Speck, The team leader of Micro-Space, wrote on the forum:

The weekend of May 27, 28, 29 the Micro-Space team launched three more of our liquid fuel rocket systems. Again, good, sustained thrust was produced by the liquid fuel sustainer cores, and long, stable flights were obtained. This brings to 15 the total number of flights of this liquid fuel system (plus two flights without the liquid fuel motor running, to generate aerodynamic test data.)

A total of six have now been flown with the latest motor configuration, and promise – as previously suggested – the reliability required for clustered flights.

The three flights had minor systems differences, and provided more information about the range of performance obtainable. More aerodynamically refined vehicles were not ready for this flight opportunity, so the performance was close to that obtained in Sept. 2004, with a maximum altitude close to 2 miles.(10,500 ft.) Data reduction has not yet been completed, particularly from the onboard data logging computers.

Excellent telemetry data was captured for all three flights, with a significant upgrade to the tuning, and radiation efficiency for the transmitter units. There is no question that this low power unit will suffice for flights beyond 100,000 ft. Higher power transmitters and better ground antennas have previously been developed for much higher altitude flights. But it is important to perfect long range communication with low power, if the interplanetary distances predicted for medium power transmitters are to be achieved.

The present launch system is a good test bed for vertical or horizontal flights, at high subsonic speed, lasting 30 seconds or more. We will use it as such to perfect guidance systems. Our previous guided rockets used much shorter burn time solid propellant motors.

The recent successful flights occurred in a range of conditions ranging from good, to very bad. Accurate radio tracking permitted recovery of the highest flight in darkness. The last flight was achieved with high and variable wind speed, yet produced a near vertical path.
The challenging wind and dust conditions are challenging our launch systems, with several subsystem failures. After 5 years of use, more than 21 days of field operation in desert, wind and dust, and 17,000 highway miles, the system is ready for significant refurbishing. A higher level of system redundancy will be included in the upgrades.

The continuing Micro-Space flights sustain our position in the top tier of space launch developers, on the basic of operational experience flying complex, liquid fueled rockets.

Micro-Space, however, faces a strategic decision point. Our demonstrated technology promises:

1. Customized – yet competitively priced – manned spaceflight. A user could achieve a record breaking, “Space Dive” with parachute for the price of a tourist ride.

2. Guided, miniature “weather probes” to systematically study violent storms.

3. Compact, transportable sounding rockets for atmospheric research.

4. Orbital systems for manned and unmanned use including rendezvous and docking.

5. The efficient Life Support systems for deep space missions now being developed.

Potential customers for any of these are invited to respond by public or private message [you have to register an account on our forum to do so].
In the absence of such feedback, we will select our focus by an unscientific method.

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