All nominal, sort of …

While yesterday’s test launches were about testing the extremes (running on A- and C-type motors), today’s marching order by Aleks Vansky (you know the drill: CEO and Chief Mastermind at OxidanSky) goes for “normal”. Choosing the appropriate motor that allows for good attitude and trajectory considering the weight of Elektra. Remember, it’s now equipped with a bunch of cool electronic gadgets and a massive nose cone.

image of rocket showing the huge nose cone
Elektra equipped with a massive bay for harboring telemetry devices
On yesterday’s launch, we were successful at apogee detection. This is important for the parachute deployment – is has to happen at the right moment.

Choosing a B-type motor for today’s test comes with one of our main objectives for aSpIrM: We are not going for maximum altitude, but rather want to increase the burn rate. Because

  • it’s more fun to watch (hey, our cameras might be able to do slow motion, but our eyes don’t) and
  • it leaves more room for satellite deployment. This will happen further down in our launch cadence, but we have to work our way up there.

launch pad structure with Elektra mounted
Our launch pad already looks a bit toasty
The test was a great success on our way towards aSpIrM Launch-1. We’re on T-8 days today!

The ignition sequence was textbook perfect and the performance of the electronics managed to please the Lord [Vansky].

The B4-4 motor has perfectly fulfilled its purpose. 62 meters compared to 176 meters yesterday – that’s a marked difference!

And here’s the first assessment of why the parachute did not fully deploy: After some chute strings burnt yesterday, some repair work needed to be done. There might have been trace residues of glue on one of the strings, leading to the chute not opening fully. Due to the repair works, the strings might not have had equal length, which could have caused some entanglement.

Vansky gave the team the “lessons learned” drill immediately after the test. Their findings:

  • Take enough time to double-check systems, regardless of pressure from freezing audience
  • Always carry extra strings and parachutes with you

rocket with parachute against cloudy sky
Elektra coming down on the parachute looking like a helicopter
And: Sorry folks, no flight footage today! We don’t want to spoil you too much 😉 But there might be a goodie in the pipeline for you. Just wait and see …




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