Brazil Successfully Tests S50 Rocket Engine for Microsat Launcher

S50 test team (Credit: Brazilian Space Agency)

This is an important step for the Brazilian Space Program, which will now advance in the construction of its Microsatellite Launch Vehicle (VLM) and VS-50.

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The test of the S50, which took place this Friday (1st), at a unit of the Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE), was a success. The engineers present were very happy with the results. Among the various authorities were the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Marcos Pontes, the president of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Carlos Moura, the director of the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), Lieutenant Brigadier from the air Hudson Costa Potiguara, the director of the Aeronautics and Space Institute (IAE), brigadier air O`Donnell, and the president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Brazil (AIAB), Julio Shidara, as well as representatives of the national industry, for middle of Avibrás.

The engine burning ground tests met expectations and showed an excellent result. It is an important step for the Brazilian Space Program, which will now advance in the construction of its Microsatellite Launch Vehicle (VLM) and the VS-50, a survey vehicle financed by the AEB, an autarchy linked to the MCTI, and jointly developed by the Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE) and by the German Space Agency (DLR).

“This is extremely important for us to have qualified equipment, suitable to be used for a microsatellite launch vehicle, or even for suborbital vehicles, which allow us to carry out experiments, for example, in microgravity conditions. Testing the S50 engine is a very important step for us to have a microsatellite launch vehicle capable of carrying our space payloads to the orbits we want,” said Moura.

The S50 engine has solid propulsion technology and brings a number of innovations. Instead of the metal casing, which is commonly used, it uses composite material that has both performance and manufacturing advantages. Furthermore, its propulsive capacity is much greater. It has almost twice the mass of the traditional engines that were used in the VLS era.

The engine had already gone through a series of tests, but now it has been really put to the test to test its endurance and performance. It worked perfectly during the “engine burn time” of about 84 seconds. To carry out the test, the engine was attached to a large concrete block and a series of sensors that measured the S50’s behavior throughout the entire time.

“The onshore engine burn tests are part of the pre-launch test battery. In these tests, the thrust curve (burning of the propellant), pressure, deformation, vibration and engine temperature are verified”, said AEB Director of Portfolio Management Paulo Barros.

About AEB 

The Brazilian Space Agency, the central body of the National System for the Development of Space Activities (SINDAE), is a public authority linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), responsible for formulating, coordinating and executing the Brazilian Space Policy. 

Since its creation, on February 10, 1994, the Agency has worked to make feasible the efforts of the Brazilian State in promoting the well-being of society, through sovereign employment in the space sector.