Phobos EAV Gets UK and European Altitude Records

The motor builds up to full thrust On the 1st of October, at 12:15 pm PST (8:15 pm GMT), the UK Phobos-EAV rocket, built by UK amateur rocketry group MARS, successfully blasted off from the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, U.S.A. setting a new verified altitude record for a UK built amateur rocket, of over 11 kilometres (34,500 feet), or over 1/10th of the way to space, almost 2 1/2 times higher than the previous UK altitude record of 14,398 feet and also beating the previous European record which stood at 20,000'.

The rocket on it's way to 34,500' The recovery system worked flawlessly, lowering the rocket back down intact in two sections, both on reinforced ballistic high speed parachutes. The upper section of the rocket was recovered within 30 minutes of launch, approximately 3 miles downrange. The booster section of the rocket was recovered within 3 hours of launch, 5 miles downrange.

Rocket leaves the tower, pulling more than 50 G's The rocket reached a peak velocity of 1350 miles per hour (600 metres per second), with a total flight time of 330 seconds (5 1/2 minutes).

The booster motor section of the rocket has been sent to the motor testing labs of the U.S. rocketry organisation, Tripoli, since it is the first time in the world that this particular class of motor has ever been recovered successfully after launch. The flight also resulted in yet another first, with it being the first time that accurate thrust data was obtained for this class of rocket motor.

Later the same day, at 4:15 pm PST on the 1st of October, the MARS team also flew their backup vehicle, Phobos-3, to a verified altitude of 16,000 feet, again beating the previous UK altitude record.

The MARS team will be returning to the UK on Thursday, somewhat tired after several sleepless nights in the desert getting the rocket ready and then launching two altitude attempt vehicles in a weekend.

A triumphant MARS posing in the desert

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