Reusable rocket successfully flight tested for third time


Reusable launch vehicle developer Exos Aerospace successfully tested its rocket for the third time at Spaceport America in New Mexico, USA last month.

EXOS, which employs just 12 people, first tested the SARGE (Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE) Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicle (SRLV) on August 25, 2018, validating the SARGE SRLV could be flown and recovered as shown in the video clip above. The first test flights with commercial payloads were then conducted on March 2, 2019.

The third and most recent test flight on June 29, 2019, also carried commercial payloads. However, an anomaly in the attitude control system meant the vehicle had to abort and was recovered near the launch site.

Following the launch, the chief operating officer of Exos John Quinn said, “While I am saddened by the anomaly, that was quickly overshadowed by the recovery.

“I’m excited to get to work on failure-modes analysis for this flight and to see the data and results of the experiments, as we continue to fill out the matrices that have the potential to ultimately change the way we treat numerous debilitating diseases.”

“With this third we will continue to push SARGE to space but largely focus on the engineering of our Jaguar reusable LEO launcher.

Quinn said that Exos is looking to establish up to four partnerships with other countries as it develops its Jaguar LEO launcher and that its first partner will be a European country. The Jaguar launcher  is planned to be operational by 2022.

“Get ready world, Exos Aerospace is bringing Airline type On Demand Space Service to you,” Quin added.

Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America said, “We’re honored to have Spaceport America serve as the launch site for EXOS Aerospace’s innovative SARGE Project.

“While this last launch may not have gone exactly as they would have liked, it was a great success in terms of retrieval and reuse of the rocket. We congratulate them on Mission 3, and we look forward to celebrating their continued ingenuity in their future operations.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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