Garvey Spacecraft Performs Successful Static Test at FAR

Garvey static engine firing on March 23, 2014. (Credit: Garvey Spacecraft Corporation)
Garvey static engine firing on March 23, 2014. (Credit: Garvey Spacecraft Corporation)

Garvey Spacecraft Corporation recently conducted a successful static test on a nanosat launch vehicle (NLV) engine at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) range near Koehn Lake in California.

The three-second burn conducted on March 23 was the first time the company had used liquid oxygen with propylene in place of ethanol on its 5,000 lbf-thrust NLV main engine, Founder John Garvey tells Parabolic Arc.

“Only 3 seconds, but got through the ignition sequence, which is always the big question at this phase,” Garvey said in an email.  “Used techniques previously developed with our 500 lbf LOX/propylene engine. Also continued to evaluate thrust vector control.

“The work plan still is to conduct additional testing this spring / summer (more ignition cycles, extend the duration), followed eventually by a flight test featuring this engine,” Garvey wrote.

The company is developing the engine under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract awarded last year. The award was for a total of up $700,000 for work over a period of two years.

Garvey’s initial goal is to deliver 10 kg payloads into a 250-km orbit. A larger version of the booster will be designed to place satellites weighing up to 20 kg into a 450-km orbit.

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