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Copenhagen Suborbitals performs sea launch of guided rocket

  1. Jun 21, 2013 #1

    Filip Larsen

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    The danish rocket group Copenhagen Suborbitals are scheduled to perform a sea launch of their first guided rocket, the 5.3 m long Sapphire, on Sunday, June 23th at around 9:00 UTC (11:00 CEST, 05:00 EDT, 02:00 PDT) from the test range ES D 139 in the Baltic Sea. The purpose of the launch is to test and validate the operation of the jet vane thrust vectoring control (TVC) system that has been designed by the group, with the ultimate goal of incorporating the TVC system into the planned HEAT 1600 man-rated launcher (see concept image below).

    Launch probability is (at time of writing) estimated to 80%. In case of bad weather, failure to close test range for air and sea traffic, or similar conditions, the launch may at the last minute be postponed one week to June 29-30.

    The group will provide a live video feed of the event on the Copenhagen Suborbital YouTube channel [4] which is scheduled to go live around 2 hours before launch (that is, 2 hours before the times mentioned above).

    Please visit the Copenhagen Suborbital homepage [1] and Kristian von Bengtson's blog on Wired [3] for more background information on the event and the group, and for up to date information as the launch gets near. I will post relevant updates to the event in this thread.


    [1] http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com
    [2] http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/contentgfx/Sapphire_specs.pdf [Broken]
    [3] http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/rocketshop
    [4] http://www.youtube.com/user/CphSuborbitals
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2013 #2
    thats nice
  4. Jun 23, 2013 #3

    Filip Larsen

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    11:06 UTC: It has been deemed that a splash-down with a damaged dome from the drogue-only descent most likely means the floation device did not deploy either and that the rocket has sunken into the Baltic Sea. Recovery has been cancelled.

    11:00 UTC: Recovery still on-going, but the rocket has not yet been located. Even if the rocket is lost to the sea, the recorded data and video downlink should prove very useful to determine the actual performance of the tested TVC system.

    10:45 UTC: launch and ascent successful, obtaining apogee of 8.2 km. Descent and splash-down apparently with only drogue deployed (i.e., no chute).

    10:42 UTC. 1 minute count down ongoing.

    10:40 UTC: Final preparations completed and final go/no go ongoing. The crew has left the launch platform Sputnik. Awaiting closing of the airspace.

    10:30 UTC: Entering final preparations. Airspace should be closed (allowing launch) from 10:40 to 11:10 UTC. Estimated launch time now around 10:50 UTC.

    10:00 UTC: Launch preparations still underway but has not yet reached the final stages. Also, the request to swedish ATC for closing the launch area for air traffic has not yet been made. Launch estimate is currently unknown, but likely somewhere between 10:15 to 11:00 UTC:

    09:30 UTC: Launch preparations are underway, testing systems, clearing the area of other ship and air traffic. Best launch estimate time is now around 10:00 UTC.

    09:11 UTC: Vostok has arrived at the launch area and are now able to pick up video feeds from the launch platform Sputnik. Best launch time estimate is still around 09:45 UTC.

    08:47 UTC: Vostok still en-route and reports launch will take place at 09:30 UTC at the earliest, more likely around 09:45 UTC.

    08:17 UTC: Sputnik (the launch platform) appears to have arrived at the launch area 35 km east of the island Bornholm together with one of the support ships. Two other support ships still en-route, one being Vostok that carries the video feed uplink transmitter. The ships can be follow via their AIS transponder on Marine Traffic.

    07:54 UTC: The live feed on YouTube is (intermittently) up after some problems orienting the video uplink antenna. Around 1 hour to the planned launch. Surface ships still en-route to the launch area.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  5. Jun 24, 2013 #4

    Filip Larsen

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  6. Jul 3, 2013 #5

    Filip Larsen

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    Copenhagen Suborbitals have produced a video animation of the launch showing how well the TVC system worked to keep the rocket nearly vertical:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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