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Micro-Space News Update

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Oct 2, 2004 5:00 am
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chabot imagemicro-space.com news: Micro-Space successfully flew two more of our liquid fueled propulsion modules Sept. 11 and 12 at the Black Rock Desert. Perfect ignition and flight performance in tests this year validates our clustered motor plan. The high reliability required for motor clustering has been demonstrated. An inflight photo of one propulsion module is attached. Recent production batches of our liquid fueled motors now offer combined thrust sufficient to begin manned flights.

Liquid fueled motors, in spite of their promising performance, often present ignition problems. This has been true of our innovative work with 50% Hydrogen Peroxide (non DOT restricted for transportation) with Methyl Alcohol. These – now resolved – problems have delayed our program. Given the present XPRIZE situation, our work is now focused on orbital altitudes. Our modular systems can be configured for a variety of manned and unmanned deep space applications.

An attached photograph shows the Micro-Space “Roto-Track” ™ system. This unit was also field tested at the Black Rock Desert. It combines continuous, RADAR like rotation, with interferometric analysis of a rocket radio beacon. The side lobe ambiguity of a fixed interferometer is eliminated, while exceptional (1/10 degree) directional resolution is retained. It also identifies and resolves interference and reflection artifacts. Multiples of this unit will provide the triple redundant tracking information usually required for unmanned, high altitude rocket flights. These will augment our primary, vertical tracking interferometer.

The modular, ultra-light Micro-Space space flight concept blurs the distinction between full scale and subscale flight hardware. Just as multiple cylinders are used in an automobile engine, or multiple combustion chambers in an aircraft turbine engine, Micro-Space will use a cluster of proven propulsion modules for our manned and unmanned flights. Note that about 100 combustion chambers are all operating within a B-52 bomber’s eight engines.

As noted, the quantity and power of existing propulsion modules now permits manned flights. Micro-Space continues development of larger, and higher power modules, particularly as manned orbital flight is addressed. Yet, development costs rise rapidly with size and greatly exceed the cost of equivalent production modules. The optimum cost design is still being explored, but high demonstrated reliability validates the modular design and eliminates large engine development as a critical development step!

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