Deimos Odyssey, also known as Deimos 2-2, is a direct follow on from the success of the original Deimos 2 project. Originally conceived in 2001 (hence the name), the Odyssey project is the first serious attempt by MARS to create a reuseable off-the-shelf sounding rocket.
Based around the MARS "B4" hybrid rocket motor, the Deimos Odyssey vehicles are designed to be very simple, reliable and low cost for their performance. The Odyssey booster consists of the four inch diameter B4 hybrid combustion chamber, coupled to a variable length, tubular oxidiser tank. The whole booster consists of less than fifty components (of which over thirty are screws) and has no moving parts.
The first test version of the Odyssey vehicle was built and schedule for testing in the U.S.A. in September 2001, however, the terrorist attacks of September the 11th, 2001, meant that the start of the flight testing programme for the Odyssey vehicle was set back to 2002. The first Deimos Odyssey vehicle was test launched from the Black Rock desert in Nevada, USA, on September 22nd 2002 making a spectacular flight to over 25,000ft then parachuting safely back to earth for re-use.
Time during this testing session did not allow for the test of the second two-stage Deimos Odyssey vehicle. MARS are now developing and refining the Deimos Odyssey series and will be making multiple test flights to low and high altitude in the coming year to further demonstrate the re-usability and versatility of the vehicle whilst development of larger vehicles is on-going.
Above: initial diagram of the Deimos-Odyssey vehicle.