March 27, 2010 – Harmon flying field

The last of the test flights of the Aquila booster project avoided disaster “by a hair” and ended on a successful note.

The “Phew” moment came shortly after liftoff when part of the igniter plug somehow became lodged in the motor nozzle, and threatened to cause a catastrophic failure of the motor…thankfully, that didn’t happen and the Aquila flew to its designated altitude of 1300 feet, returning safely with no structural damage – concluding the tests of the “long” rocket configuration.

The Aquila “long” configuration was designed to test a booster rocket with an extremely long payload with the purpose of gathering flight stability and structural integrity data to be used in designing the long payload sections to be used on the Artemis medium booster project.  This configuration for the Artemis will be used for real time radio telemetry tests scheduled to happen during the summer of 2011.  In that particular configuration, the launch system will be named “Artemis V”.

The Aquila booster is now cleared for regular low power payload flights.

((( )))