(May 13, 2012)
Test flight #2 was as close to textbook as one could get. On mision ALS-043 flown on April 29, 2012, Nala rocket reached the expected height of 1060 Feet (1056, actually), at a peak velocity of 260 MPH. Main and Drogue parachutes deployed successfully, and the recovery harnesses all worked flawlessly.
A detailed post-flight inspection revealed damage to an internal baffle for the drogue parachute deployment. A plastic container cap designed to hold the backup deployment charge apparently damaged the baffle. When the backup charge was activated, the cap shot forward with enough force to crush the baffle system.
Since the drogue parachute was deployed successfully by the primary system, this damage posed no problems for the mission. A redesign of the baffle has been completed, and installed.
June 9, 2012 is the date set for the last of three test flights for X2-06 Artemis / Nala.
The goal of test flight #3 is to check the baffle modification, as well as a general checkout for all flight & recovery systems on-board Nala rocket.
After this flight there will be a brief pause while X6-01 Nesaru / Adventure is prepared for its maiden voyage. No definite date for launch has been set as of yet, but many of the systems being used on Nala rocket are smaller versions of systems planned for use on board Adventure.
Nala’s fourth mission is planned for later this summer on Launch pad #2 where the first of several radio transmitter tests will be performed. The goal is to develop the infrastructure to capture real time flight data from my rockets during flight. The other half of this mission will be the shakedown test for Launch Pad #2, my new high power launch pad.