Well, there isn’t much to say so far.
Weather conditions have scrubbed two Artemis / Pathfinder launches. The January 21st launch window was scrubbed due to poor recovery field conditions (very, very muddy). and the February 11th launch window had to be scrubbed due to high winds (20+ MPH) and extremely low visibility (ceiling of 600 Ft.)
The next launch opportunity is March 10th from the Harmon flying field.
The 29mm Artemis booster for pathfinder is getting closer to completion. This will allow flights up to a “G” motor, and a maximum operational flight range of 2500 feet AGL. I’m expecting the booster to be ready for flight by spring 2012. As of right now, the wiring for its electrical systems is done, and the booster is being painted. After this, a round of ground tests will begin.
Based on the findings of the Artemis / Pathfinder project, I have made several changes to the Nesaru / Adventure launch vehicle (X6-01). The latest of which is a re-designed booster using G-10 fiberglass fins. The current booster will be used for my Level 1 certification attempt, and subsequent flights, and the new booster will be phased in a few months later.
A new rocket is in the designing phases right now. It will be based on an entirely new booster named Comanche X-8. This booster will replace the current Perseus and Aurora medium power booster. It will incorporate all the best engineering of the Artemis / Perseus / Aurora rockets, will be Dual Deploy, and designed specifically to operate as a dual deploy rocket to fly from smaller fields such as the MTMA’s summer home, the “Harmon Flying Field”. I have given the rocket the nickname “The Harmon Field Flyier”. Comanche X-8 will be capable of launching electronic & experimental payloads up to around 1/2 pounds.
Comanche will fly as a Class 1 rocket, but will have the capability of Class 2 flights at appropriate launch sites.
One of the major series of experiments to be conducted using Comanche X8 will be real time electronic telemetry & tracking systems that will be needed in future projects I have in mind, including the Carina Shuttle RC boost glider project.
Comanche may take its maiden voyage later on this year. All of these rockets (including the Artemis 29mm booster) are designed around the upcoming Launch Pad 2 rail launcher.
Launch Pad 2 designs are progressing, and construction will begin once the weather is warmer.
There is your general update on what’s been going on the past few weeks at Cornelius’ Rocketry Central!