Rockets: EXOS prepares SARGE + Zero2Infinity CEO talks about hi-alt test + Rocket Lab 1st launch not imminent

NewSpace Watch
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Launch
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March 21, 2017

Some info from EXOS Aerospace on the state of development of the SARGE reusable sounding rocket: SARGE Update: | EXOS Aerospace

The EXOS SARGE vehicle is currently being put together, and we are planning on doing a full tethered test in the coming weeks. That’s a video you will want to see!

Our engine has outperformed all expectations during testing, and we can’t wait to share our tethered test with you.

Several photos are included. Here are a couple:

SARGE engine

SARGE rocket tanks.

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An interview with José Mariano López-Urdiales, CEO of Zero2Infinity about their recent rocket launch from a high-altitude balloon (the segment starts around 19:30):

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In this report on the Rocket Lab‘s latest fund-raising, the company indicates that the first launch could still be more than a month away: Rocket Lab raises $75 million to scale up launch vehicle production – SpaceNews.com.

That testing is continuing, with a focus on preparing the launch site rather than the rocket. “Most of the commission operations that are occurring down there are for the launch range. The vehicle is ready to fly,” he said. He would not commit to a specific schedule for the vehicle’s first launch other than the “coming months.”

Despite the uncertain schedule, Beck said Rocket Lab still planned to conduct five to seven launches this year. Those include three test flights as well as a launch for Moon Express, a company facing an end-of-2017 deadline for launching a lunar lander to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize. Another launch would be for NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services program under a contract awarded in October 2015.

Beck said the company has a large backlog, although he didn’t mention the number of launches under contract. That demand, he said, was a driver for scaling up production, enabled by the new funding round.

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