Rocket Crafters Concludes Comet Engine Testing

Comet engine hot fire (Credit: Rocket Crafters)

COCOA, Fla., May 12, 2020 (Rocket Crafters PR) — Rocket Crafters, the first space launch company to use additive manufacturing to 3D print rocket fuel, announces the conclusion of testing for the Comet engine, a large-scale proof of concept test model of its STAR-3DTM hybrid rocket engine.

The tests were designed to show that the patent-pending hybrid rocket engines could scale from the laboratory to a size more commercially relevant. With 49 successful laboratory tests under their belt ranging from 250 to 500 pounds of thrust, Rocket Crafters initiated testing of the Comet 5000-pound thrust engine in February of this year.

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Rocket Crafters Gets DARPA Research Contract for Large-Scale Hybrid Engine

TITUSVILLE, Fla. (Rocket Crafters PR) — Rocket Crafters, Inc. (RCI) announced today it has been awarded a $542,600 research contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Under the terms of the agreement, RCI is tasked to build and test a large-scale hybrid rocket engine using RCI’s patented Direct-Digital Advanced Rocket Technology (D-DART™). During the eight-month period of performance, RCI aims to design, build, and test a 5,000 lbf peak thrust, throttle-capable hybrid rocket engine based on the company’s potentially industry-disruptive rocket engine technology.

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Rocket Crafters Receives Patent for Printed Hybrid Fuel Grain

rocket_craftersTITUSVILLE, Fla. (RCI PR) – Rocket Crafters, Inc. (RCI) announced today a U.S. patent was granted to co-founder, President & CTO Ronald Jones for a method for designing and fabricating flawless, high-performance, safer handling fuel grains for hybrid rocket engines using additive manufacturing technology (also known as 3D printing) which will allow the fabrication of an inherently safe and less expensive launch vehicle with only two moving parts. Jones stated that 3D printing of the rocket combustion chamber allows RCI’s expendable motors to deliver small satellites to orbits at as low as half current launch costs.

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Smallsat 2016: Updates on Launch Vehicle Development

CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)
CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)

The Small Satellite 2016 Conference got underway today in Logan, Utah. Although I was not able to make it, I’ve been able to follow the conference via Twitter. A number of small satellite launch companies provided updates on launch vehicles they are developing. There is information below on Firefly Space Systems, Nammo, Rocket Crafters, Rocket Lab, Super Strypi, Vector Space Systems and Virgin Galactic.

Information came from the following Tweeters who are attending the conference:

  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust
  • C. G. Niederstrasser ‏@RocketScient1st
  • David Hurst ‏@OrbitalDave.

Enjoy!
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Space Coast Job Incentives Deals a Mixed Bag

Rocket Crafters concept vehicle (Credit: Rocket Crafters)
Rocket Crafters concept vehicle (Credit: Rocket Crafters)

The Miami Herald reports that the jobs incentives deals that Gov. Rick Scott has crafted to lure businesses to the Space Coast have been a mixed bag. On the plus side, Brevard County’s unemployment rate, which peaked after the end of NASA’s space shuttle program, has been reduced from more than 11 percent to 7 percent.  Deals with large companies such as Boeing and Embraer promise to eventually add thousands of additional jobs in the area.

On the other hand, a $7 million incentives deal with start-up company Rocket Crafters appears to have augered in. And  even positive achievements appear to rely heavily on federal contracts, not necessarily on private sector growth, limiting the ability of the area to diversify its economy away from government spending.

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Spaceports, Spaceports Everywhere…and Very Little to Launch

 Sunset at the "Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space" terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

Sunset at the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

The latest spaceport news from around the country:

Sante Fe, N.M. —  The state Board of Finance unanimously approved the New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s (NMSA) plan to seek a $20 million private loan to build Spaceport America visitor centers outside the towns of Hatch and Truth or Consequences. NMSA officials say they will pay the 21-year loan back with revenues from the centers, although some Board of Finance members questioned NMSA’s financial assumptions. The loan is in addition to the $209 million that taxpayers have spent on Spaceport America. [Albuquerque Journal]

Houston — Houston City Council has approved a 3-year consulting contract worth $718,900 to begin work on obtaining an FAA spaceport license for city-run Ellington Airport. The decision followed a presentation on how the airport and city are well suited to host horizontally launched space vehicles. A study found that equipping the airport for space operations would cost between $48 million and $122 million. [Houston Chronicle]

Titusville, Fla. — The Titusville Cocoa (TICO) Airport Authority has begun efforts to obtain an FAA spaceport license for the coastal facility. The move comes after Rocket Crafters agreed to relocate to the airport to develop a point-to-point vehicle. The company is expected to invest $72 million at the airport. [Florida SPACErePORT]











Rocket Crafters Developing Suborbital Point-to-Point Vehicles

Here’s a closer look at Rocket Crafters, the Utah company that recently announced that it would be moving its operations to Titusville, Florida. This is based upon the company’s website and a PowerPoint presentation about the company’s move to the Sunshine State.

Founded

November 2010

Divisions

  • Defense
  • Spacecraft

Goals

  • To develop and commercialize a family of synergistic and interrelated aerospace products for the commercial space and military rocket and guided missile markets
  • To develop the enabling technologies to make it possible to safely and reliably transport passengers and urgent priority cargo on suborbital tracks over intercontinental distances in 1/6th the time of current commercial aviation services

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Big Win for Space Coast: Utah Hybrid Rocket Company to Relocate to Titusville

Brevard County, Fla., July 10, 2012 (EDC PR) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Enterprise Florida, City of Titusville, Space Florida, and Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority are pleased to announce that Rocket Crafters, a Utah-based corporation that holds licenses for advanced hybrid rocket and aerospace composite technologies as well as proprietary hybrid rocket design and analysis software, will relocate to Titusville.

The company plans to develop and commercialize a new hybrid rocket propulsion technology and leverage an ultra-lightweight, advanced composite material to manufacture dual-propulsion suborbital space planes. Rocket Crafters is focused on spaceflight training and commercializing the enabling technologies required for the future suborbital new space opportunities for both commercial and military applications.

Rocket Crafters will invest $72 million to support operations at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville. At full employment, the company’s total economic impact is estimated to be over $48 million.
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