MARS Launches Deimos Odyssey Avionics Test VehicleSunday 3rd November saw the MARS Flight Crew come together once more to launch the Deimos Odyssey Avionics Test Vehicle as part of the development effort towards their ultimate goal of being the first amateur team to launch a rocket into space.
Working in parallel the avionics team readied their video and telemetry equipment while the ground support team assembled and checked the launch pad and flight initiation equipment. The recovery devices were prepared and a small commercial solid motor was installed in the vehicle.
At approximately 1.30pm the rocket was fully assembled on the pad and all systems checked out. Range safety clearance was obtained and after a short countdown the vehicle roared into the sky atop a plume of bright blue flame.
At t+10 seconds the vehicle arced over at apogee and separated into two parts as planned, the motor section descending on its own parachute as the avionics bay tumbled for a short while before the three altimeters fired charges to release its parachute at the predetermined height.
Both sections of the airframe landed well within the planned recovery area without damage and were rapidly checked to ensure that all charges were safe before being returned to the launch point for download of flight data from the altimeters and other data logging systems on board.
Good quality video footage was returned throughout the flight from the two onboard high resolution video cameras to the ground stations and was recorded onto the digital video recorders. Excellent footage was also obtained from the close-up pad camera and tracking video camera.
The flight was a great success and will prove very useful in building up experience in the team of flying and safely recovering large, complex rockets.
MARS plan to carry on flying similar airframes on incrementally larger motors while also developing their own large scale hybrid propulsion systems until a spaceflight can be made.
MARS would like to thank their all their sponsors especially JVC, Pentax and Schlumberger and Pete Davy of Pete's Rockets for their help in making this flight possible.