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Posts Tagged ‘Armadillo’

“Rockets are special” is an interchangeable meme with “rockets are expensive”. Well, hopefully they get less special. Armadillo’s been making progress, from the latest update:

For the very first time, a complete system was operated without the presence of any of the manufacturer’s representation on site. This may seem like a small thing in light of the fact we all knew it would eventually come, but getting there is always a good thing.

Some day launch vehicles will be Refuel And Go Again.

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LOX Film Cooling

It works! Armadillo did the important, expensive and meticulous scientific research:

During a tour of the shop I was explaining how our particular rocket engines worked. While doing this I discovered that an injector we had performed no less than a half dozen tests on was plumbed up backwards from what I was pointing out. This immediately explained much more to me than I would have cared to admit at the moment.
Suffice it to say that it is indeed possible to film cool an engine with LOX…

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For propelling the Rocket Racer?

😉

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Sandman

Armadillo flying to 600+ meters with a "mod". I say, it looks like the East German Sandman!

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To Armadillo, Masten Space Systems, Unreasonable Rocket, The X Prize foundation and all the people in these organization and others! I was watching the webcasts a large portion of the weekend.

A month ago, only one team, Armadillo, had ever done even a lunar lander challenge flight from one pad to another. And now there are three. Never mind multiple flights by Masten, both L1 and L2!

The future might be markedly different from present. How about something like testing space telescope instruments in 100+ km VTVL or HTHL flights? Reliable and routine access to space, even though at start for only a brief time in hops, could change everything. You would get everything back intact. Unlike with sounding rockets where recovery seems often so uncertain…

There are some aerodynamic issues still though that I’ve been expounding on for a long time.

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Watching the armadillo 201 m hop
http://media.armadilloaerospace.com/2009_10_24/2009_10_24_boosted_hop.wmv
NASA’s Ares-1X
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
and
Masten Space’s Xoie L2 flight
http://twitter.com/NGLLC09

Two of these are elegant controllable reusable vehicles, able to take off fly and land in various weather conditions and corn fields. One is not.

Masten Space 180 second vehicle Xoie just before attempt

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Masten

Made huge strides in the last few days. A half-L1 done. They might be able to compete with Armadillo on L2, though I’m somewhat skeptical since they’re only going to assemble the new L2 vehicle soon.

Suddenly looks like there are two viable big VTVL sounding rocket companies!

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