Super Strypi is launching soon, carrying ORS 4 and some cubesats.
The ORS 4 mission is a first flight demonstration of the experimental, low-cost Super Strypi small launch system. The Operationally Responsive Space office is managing development of Super Strypi in partnership with the University of Hawaii, Sandia National Laboratories, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne Corp. The goal is to deliver payloads in the range of 300 kilograms to low Earth orbit. A Super Strypi launch vehicle will deliver the HiakaSat spacecraft and multiple CubeSat payloads into orbit on the ORS 4 mission. Delayed from October 2013, April and October 2014. Delayed from January 2015. Delayed from Oct. 29. [Nov. 2]
It's using sounding rocket tech, but its not going to replace them. Its being built so the DOD can deliver small satellites into orbit on short notice. The goal is to be able to launch a satellite within 24 hours of deciding they want one. Sounding rockets aren't going away anytime soon.
Basically, it's about the size of Falcon 1 with around half the payload capacity.
Interestingly, it uses ammonium nitrate rather than ammonium perchlorate, trading performance for environmental friendliness and elimination of the corrosive mess usually deposited on launch facilities when solid motors are involved.
I haven't heard yet whether it's a metallized propellant (with aluminum or magnesium fuel), or just HTPB/AN with minor additives.
There may be potential for very low launch costs. The first stage is spin-stabilized, and therefore unguided. No moving parts, no avionics. The other two stages are more conventional.
uhh, I'm pretty sure it failed? It was spinning a lot and it started to wobble and then the little 3d representation had it flipping end over end and then the feed cut.
i guess unless it was spin stabilized, something was wrong.
It looked like it was spinning about a different point, maybe as the fuel burned it changed the weight distribution and that caused problems. Though you'd think they'd account for that already.
>The Super Strypi launch vehicle has lifted off from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii on an experimental test flight of a new military lightweight satellite booster. The first moments of the flight appeared to go well, but an animation of the launch vehicle derived from telemetry appeared to show it tumbling shortly after liftoff.
>We are standing by for an update on the status of the launch from mission managers.
Careful. This thing is watching you
first stage burn was supposed to be 75 seconds, and that looked short.
The reason this launch was delayed two years was the high risk of casing burn-through towards the end of flight. I'm betting that's what happened.
A major US government organization like the Air Force or NASA doesn't really do anything like this themselves, it's always contracted out.
This is basically a Sandia (Lockheed Martin) and Aerojet-Rocketdyne vehicle, with customers represented by a university involved on the payloads end, and the Air Force involved on the range operations end.
The big government customer keeps an eye on development, and makes suggestions and gives requirements and evaluates decisions, with the power to cut funding if things are going badly, but doesn't really do the work of designing or building itself.
The list of contractors is getting shorter. With less competition, there are more fuck-ups and less alternatives when you get a fuck-up.
yeah, in theory. Our rocket club did a calculation that the largest Black Brant variant was just a hair too small to go to orbit. Besides just making it bigger, you also have to have much finer control of the trajectory to attain a stable orbit.
Also, Ye Olde Scout rocket basically used sounding rocket tech (all solid stages) but up-sized. It had over a hundred successful orbital missions. Same with Japan's Lambda and Mu series of small launchers.