ARMADILLO PR — Following detailed analysis of the downlinked telemetry and audio/video recordings from both ground based cameras and a camera that was recovered from the rocket, Armadillo Aerospace has determined that the maximum altitude attained by the STIG-A rocket in the January 28th mission was approximately 82-km MSL (~50 miles).
A failure of the ballute (balloon-parachute) recovery system meant that the GPS steerable main parachute could not be deployed as intended. The vehicle was recovered within the predicted operating area and the nose cone and ballute were separately recovered intact on the Spaceport property.
This vehicle was the same one that flew in December 2011 and successfully demonstrated the feasibility of a reusable rocket. The altitude achieved in this second flight was approximately twice that of the earlier flight and again tested many of the core technologies needed for the proposed manned reusable suborbital vehicle. The images captured by the rocket mounted camera at apogee also serve to indicate the spectacular views that await future private astronauts.
The next incremental step for Armadillo Aerospace will be a 100-km (~62 miles) plus “space shot” with the successor vehicle STIG-B which is provisionally scheduled to launch in early spring from Spaceport America.