Awesome Video of Interorbital Systems Flight Test at FAR

This upper-stage engine test was conducted on June 30 at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) site northeast of Koehn Lake in the Mojave Desert. I was there. It was very cool to watch in person.

Engine Details

White Fuming Nitric Acid / Turpentine
Hypergolic Storable Propellants
Ablatively Cooled
750 lbs Thrust

Vector Declares Rocket Launch Successful

Flight test of P-19H engineering model of the Vector-R launch vehicle from Friends of Amateur Rocketry site in California. (Credit: Vector Space Systems)

CANTIL, Calif. (Vector PR) — Vector, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced the successful test launch of the P-19H engineering model of the Vector-R launch vehicle.

This flight test is the first of several upcoming launches which will enable Vector to evaluate critical technologies and functions of the operational family of Vector launch vehicles.


Student Rocketry Teams Compete for FAR-MARS Prize

FAR_logoMOJAVE, Calif. (FAR/Mars Society PR) – Student-built rockets will streak into the stratosphere in Spring, 2018 as college and university engineering teams from around the world compete for $100,000 in prizes in a contest sponsored jointly by the Mars Society, headquartered in Denver, CO and the California-based Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR), officers announced today.

The FAR-MARS Prize will grant $50,000 to the team whose bi-propellant liquid-fueled rocket comes closest to reaching 45,000 feet (13,716 meters). A second $50,000 prize will go to the team that comes closest to hitting that same altitude with a rocket-powered by liquid-methane and liquid-oxygen, announced Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, and Mark Holthaus, director and treasurer of FAR. “If one team can achieve both goals with the same rocket, they’ll win both prizes totaling $100,000,” Holthaus said.


Mojave Journal: Weather Weather Everywhere

Stormy weather (Credit: Douglas Messier)
Stormy winter weather (Credit: Douglas Messier)

There’s an old saying in Mojave, which I actually made up last year, that we don’t really have weather out here, just temperatures and wind velocities. That’s largely true. Most days look pretty much like all the other days: sunny and clear with blue skies as far as the eye can see. Not for nothing did the High Desert become the premiere location for testing high-performance aircraft and rocket planes.


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.

Parabolic Arc is on Facebook and Twitter.

For all the latest space news,
please follow Parabolic Arc on Facebook and Twitter.

Fun at FAR — An Experimental CubeSat Launch Photo Essay


I was out at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) range in the Mojave Desert on Saturday. Garvey Spacecraft Corporation launched its Prospector 18D rocket with four CubeSats built by teams in California and Florida. The goal was to test two of the CubeSats in high-altitude launch conditions before they are sent into orbit late next year aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.



Garvey Space Flies Suborbital Rocket Again in Mojave

P-18D at ignition.(Credit: Garvey Spacecraft Corporation)
P-18D at ignition.(Credit: Garvey Spacecraft Corporation)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Garvey Space PR) — The NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida has initiated a new high-altitude launch service for demonstration NanoSatellites. This service is intended to provide streamlined, introductory launch opportunities for the growing number of academic, business and research organizations that are developing CubeSat and NanoSat-class payloads.

The first flight under this program took place on Saturday, Dec.8, and featured the Prospector 18D (P-18D) suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV) originally developed and previously flown three times by a team consisting of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC) and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).


Commercial Crew Announcement this Week?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Charles now tells me that NASA is likely to inform the companies of their decision on Thursday morning. There is usually a lag between that action and a public press conference.

UPDATE: NASA will publicly announce the winners on Friday morning.

Charles Lurio of The Lurio Report has emailed me saying that he has heard from a very reliable source that NASA will announce the next round of commercial crew funding on Thursday or Friday. This is no independent verification of this report.


Awesome Video: A Rocket Launch and a Very Close Call

This rocket launch from the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) test site near Mojave, Calif., nearly wiped out the remote controlled helicopter sent aloft to film its takeoff. The rocket was launched by Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rocket on December 10. Video used by permission of Paul Breed.

Ironically, the helicopter was severely damaged later in the day in an unrelated crash.