Ars Technica | Rocket Report 05.16.2019
The Florida-based small satellite launch company, Rocket Crafters, entered an agreement with Switzerland-based RUAG to provide flight components for its rockets.
Excerpt from Ars Technica
This article was originally published at Ars Technica.
05.16.2019 • Edition 1.49
This Week in Lift
On May 18, 1969, a Saturn V rocket launched the Apollo 10 mission on its historic journey toward the Moon, and a vital, final test for a human landing there. At its closest approach, the Lunar Module came to within 14km of the surface before Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan fired their engine and returned to low-lunar orbit. Fifty years …
Small Lift Rockets
A promise made, a promise delivered? … This is an interesting development, as Arianespace has promoted its Vega and next-generation Vega-C rockets as the continent’s answer to the small satellite launch competition. With this “Small Spacecraft Mission Service” launch, and more in the offing, it seems as though Europe’s main rocket company may be delivering on this promise to compete for small satellite launch contracts. Ben fatto! (submitted by Ken the Bin)Hermeus plans to develop Mach 5.0 aircraft. A new aerospace company has entered the race to provide supersonic commercial air travel, Ars reports. On Monday, a US-based company named Hermeus announced plans to develop an aircraft that will travel at speeds of up to Mach 5. Such an aircraft would cut travel time from New York to Paris from more than 7 hours to 1.5 hours.
Ambitious, to say the least … “We aren’t getting into anything too miraculous,” Skyler Shuford, the company’s chief operating officer, said. “We want to do engineering, not science.” Primary materials will include titanium, and the propulsion system will be powered by a turbine-based, combined-cycle engine. Over the next five years, the company plans to work toward a demonstrator vehicle that travels at Mach 5, before developing aircraft for commercial service eight to 10 years from now. Such a fast plane might diminish appetites for suborbital, point-to-point travel later this century.Virgin Galactic moves into new spaceport. Virgin announced that its development and testing program has advanced sufficiently to move the spaceline staff and space vehicles from Mojave, Calif., to their commercial operations headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico. The VSS Unity spacecraft and its carrier plane, VMS Eve, are set to move to New Mexico in the summer, NASASpaceFlight.com reports.
It’s been a long time coming … Sir Richard Branson first announced the deal to set up a spaceport on land north of La Cruces city, New Mexico back in 2005. With delays to the SpaceShip Two flight program, the facility has been mostly unused since construction was completed several years ago. Now that will finally change. This is another healthy sign that tourism flights will begin on VSS Unity later this year. (submitted by FredOG and Ken the Bin)
Rocket Crafters partners with RUAG. The Florida-based small satellite launch company, Rocket Crafters, entered an agreement with Switzerland-based RUAG to provide flight components for its rockets, Spaceflight Insider reports. “With their support, we will rapidly prototype our suborbital test rocket, gaining valuable flight heritage on our motors and quickly evolving into our Intrepid-1 small satellite launch vehicle.” said Robert Fabian, President of Rocket Crafters.
Over the Karman line, but under the radar … The Florida company has flown largely under the radar, and it’s not seeking the build the biggest or sleekest rocket in the small space race. Rather, it’s focused largely on controlling costs so that more people can get their experiments into space. This agreement also allows RUAG to develop product lines smaller launch vehicles than its traditional customers. (submitted by Mars1 and Ken the Bin)
Read the rest of the Ars Technica Rocket Report here.
Source: Ars Technica.