(Sunday, June 24, 2011 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH)

The mission updates for Artemis / Nala1 missions ALS044, ALS045, and ALS046 are long overdue, so here they are!

On Saturday, June 9, 2012, Nala1 flew two test flights.  The first of which, ALS044 had a good launch.  Wind gusts “kicked up” as the launch was in progress, which caused the rocket to experience a bit of a “wiggle” as it left the launch rail.  Nala1 recovered nicely, reaching an altitude of 960 feet.

The lower altitude was from the shaky launch, which put Nala1 on a trajectory that was less than ideal for maximum height.  Nala1 reached a peak speed of 230 MPH.

The drogue parachute deployed on the mark, but the secondary deployment charge overpressurized the booster section causing a separation of the booster from the rest of the rocket.

The booster fell from roughly 600 feet, and experienced some damage at impact. The rest of the rocket landed safely as the main deployment systems worked without incident.

After a repair to the booster lasting about two hours, Nala1 was ready for its next test flight for the day, mission ALS045.  ALS045 was a pretty routine launch, successful drogue deployment, but the main parachute was “stuck” in the parachute bay.   Nala1 landed under drogue parachute only.  There was no damage.

Mission ALS045 stats:

Maximum altitude: 980 Feet

Maximum speed: 230 MPH

On June 10, Nala1 was ready for its last test flight of the weekend.  During the flight of mission ALS046, the launch & drogue parachute deployment events were right on the mark.   During the main parachute deployment event, there was an over-pressurization of the main parachute baffle, which caused a cascade failure resulting in the separation of the upper section of the rocket from the lower one.

Again, no damage as the booster landed under drogue parachute deployment, and the upper section was on the main parachute.

Mission ALS046 stats:

Maximum altitude: 996 Feet

Maximum speed: 240 MPH

After reviewing the data from the last three launches, I’ve made design changes to the upper baffle system to allow for greater variations in the “power” of the deployment charges.  This system was ground tested on Saturday (June 23rd) with a much larger than normal ejection charge, and the system passed with flying colors.

Nala1’s next mission is tentatively scheduled for July 14th, 2012.  Two flights are scheduled, both are designed to test the solutions to the problems experienced off-and-on during her past six missions.

More info as we are closer to the date!

((( )))