• Ignacio Rockwill

    What was learned by flying that would have been learned by just holding the vacuum in a fixture or even by hand? Maybe the flight was for something else and the vacuum test was ancillary. Kinda quiet on the Masten front recently…last original Twitter post was november of last year. Last I heard they were working on some cool electrically pumped motors.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    We may have to wait until September when Master are due to fire one of the XL-1T’s main engines. Although they may have delivered some paperwork to NASA.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    Masten is still working on the Broadsword propulsion system, thrust comparable to that of the Vanguard rocket booster back in 1958. Masten could have a future option of clustering the Broadsword motors for a booster of 100,000Ibs thrust or more, making a ground to LEO capable booster for satellites up to 200kg. And with the Masten propulsion systems already developed that are capable of TLI, they can have the ability to send cubesats to the Moon.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    Probably that the device works out side the laboratory when exposed to the appropriate levels of acceleration, vibration and dust. The product can now be awarded a higher TRL level.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    The ground to LEO market is very overcrowded, most firms in it will have to leave. The lunar lander market has far fewer competitors. Can Broadsword be used in Earth departure stages to get heavy payloads from LEO to lunar and Mars orbits?

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    Assuming a $10,000 per kg launch price a 200kg mini satellite would cost

    $10,000 * 200 = $2,000,000 to launch. SpaceX is planning on reducing that launch price.

    Astrobotic is advertising $1.2M/kg to the lunar surface. Masten would have to match that price. I assume the lander would be expendable.

  • Kenneth_Brown

    That’s exactly correct. There can also be interactions between some sensors and effects from the rocket exhaust plume that are easier to test in the real world than to model.

    Static testing for vacuum and temp are the step before an actual flight test to make sure an instrument is ready for the next level of testing.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    Is there a market for sounding rockets these days? Particularly a reusable one that can land.