Deimos-3 is currently MARS's primary goal. Originally designed in 1999, the Deimos-3 vehicle was to be a two stage, hybrid motor powered sounding rocket, capable of lifting a small payload to over 100 kilometres (62 miles) in altitude - the internationally recognised boundary of space.
The design of the vehicle has evolved over the last few years to a far simpler and higher performance design, as the group's experience and knowledge of hybrid rocket motor design has expanded. Until now, only governments and large government linked commercial ventures have had the experience and the resources to put a man made object into space. Now, in the early years of the 21st century, the space-race mentality of the 1960's is being re-kindled, not amongst governments and world powers, but among small amateur rocketry groups from across the globe.... all vying to be the first to reach space.
The Deimos-3 project has now evolved to allow optional single and two stage configurations of the rocket, with variable propellant loads to enable missions to encompass apogee altitudes of between 50,000 feet to 500,000 feet. Testing of the hybrid rocket propulsion system for the first in the series of Deimos-3 rockets is currently underway, with flight-testing imminent.
Left: a first generation Deimos-3 oxidiser tank being filament wound. Above: a component diagram for part of one of the Deimos-3 test vehicles.