Plasma Rockets & Solar Storms

Testing Plasma Rocket ComponentsThis Cosmic Journeys video covers the work of Dr. Ben Longmier KF5KMP and his University of Michigan team in developing plasma rockets.

Dr. Ben Longmier and his team from the University of Michigan have traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska to play a small part in a much larger push to revolutionize space travel and exploration.

The team plans to use helium balloons to send components of a new type of rocket engine to an altitude of over 30 kilometers, above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere. The purpose is to test these components within the harsh environment of space. While astronauts train to live and work in zero gravity, or to move around in bulky space suits, these would-be space explorers are preparing to negotiate some of Earth’s harshest environments.

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New Satellite Launch Vehicle To Carry CubeSat Swarm in 2013

Super Strypi – SPARK

2013 should see the first flight of a new satellite launch vehicle.

Super Strypi, also known as SPARK (Space-borne Payload Assist Rocket – Kauai), has been developed by Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawaii and Aerojet. The rocket is based on an enlarged version of Sandia’s Strypi sounding rocket.

The all solid fueled vehicle uses a GEM-46 (LEO-46) motor of Delta-2H heritage as first stage. A Orbus-7S (LEO-7) motor acts as second stage and a Star-30BP (Spark-30) or an Orbus-1 (LEO-1) as third stage. It is spin and fin stabilized during fist stage burn and has attitude control for the two upper stages. The low cost rocket will be launched from a rail launcher and can put a payload of 250 kg into a 400 km sun-synchronous orbit.

The Super Strypi vehicle will be launched from a rail-launcher at Barking Sands, Kauai (Pacific Missile Range Facility) towards the end of 2013.

Conceptual representation of a cluster of EDSN satellites illustrating their ability to communicate and share data as a network.  Credit NASA

Super Strypi will be carrying a swarm of CubeSats, the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN). The CubeSats are an unusual size of 10 by 10 by 15 cm (1.5U) and weigh 2 kg. The EDSN swarm will demonstrate distributed, multipoint space weather measurement and are expected to operate for at least 60 days and have an orbit life-time of up to 4 years.

ORS Project – Super Strypi http://www.govsupport.us/ORSSSEA/Documents/DEA.pdf

Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Project – Super Strypi http://www.govsupport.us/orsssea/

NASA – Small Spacecraft Technology Program
http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/stp/small_satellite_subsystem_tech/index.html

Gunter’s Space Page 2013 http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_chr/lau2013.htm

Video of Interorbital Systems' Neptune Rocket Test Firing

MOJAVE-10.28.2012—On a calm clear high-desert October evening, Interorbital Systems’ NEPTUNE rocket series’ main engine roared to life in its first hot-firing test. The engine, the IOS GPRE 7.5KNTA (General Purpose Rocket Engine; 7,500lb-thrust; Nitric Acid; Turpentine; Ablative cooling), blasted a 22-foot (6.71-meter) plume of fire across Interorbital’s Mojave Spaceport test area, scorching the sand an additional 50 feet (15.24 meters) beyond the plume end.

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Video of Interorbital Systems’ Neptune Rocket Test Firing

MOJAVE-10.28.2012—On a calm clear high-desert October evening, Interorbital Systems’ NEPTUNE rocket series’ main engine roared to life in its first hot-firing test. The engine, the IOS GPRE 7.5KNTA (General Purpose Rocket Engine; 7,500lb-thrust; Nitric Acid; Turpentine; Ablative cooling), blasted a 22-foot (6.71-meter) plume of fire across Interorbital’s Mojave Spaceport test area, scorching the sand an additional 50 feet (15.24 meters) beyond the plume end.

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October SatMagazine Now Available

The October issue of the free publication SatMagazine has articles on the Aeneas and Firefly CubeSats as well as a Builder’s Guide To Inexpensive Space Access.

In this issue:
Page 16 – Aeneas CubeSat
Page 40 – Satellite Networks For Education
Page 56 – Firefly CubeSat
Page 60 – A Builder’s Guide To Inexpensive Space Access By Randa Relich Milliron, CEO, Interorbital Systems

Download the October 2012 SatMagazine at http://www.satmagazine.com/2012/SM_Oct2012.pdf

SatMagazine http://www.satmagazine.com/

India's Largest Ever Rocket – GSLV MK3

It’s tipped to be India’s heaviest rocket till date weighing 640 tons, it’s also taken 10 years to develop and will hopefully launch Indian astronauts into space. That’s the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) designed and developed GSLV MK3 that has cost Rs 2500 crores and will put India on the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.

Watch ISROs GSLV MK3 – First Look