Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Evil is in the details ...

Couple of weeks ago, we decided to shift our focus from the spacecraft we were working on, to the launch vehicle. The main drive for that change was to allow for the development of the ascent guidance and control algorithm to go in parallel of the development of the spacecraft. While a launch vehicle is a very complex object, it is only overall a bit simpler than a manned spacecraft. Thus, we hoping to save time by avoiding the development of the most complex part of the launch vehicle from blocking the rest of the development. Sounds like a good plan ... I wishes I had though about it 9_9

Back in January of this year I had started a design document for our launch vehicle addon but didn't go much further than just setting up the very basic contents and layout of it. Since we have shifted to making the launcher before the payload, I resumed this week-end working on it and thus I have dived deep in finding out how a launch vehicle is designed and built. Marvelous yet highly complex contraptions. As common for this type (read country of origin) of addon, we are having an hard time coming up with solid and real data/info, thus I have been spending a lot of time looking at other rocket of the same time period (e.g Saturn, Atlas ...). I'll really like to get my hand on some detailed description of the Gemini-Titan vehicle, but for some unknown reason (maybe this have to do with the fact that Titan was originally an ICBM?) I'm having an hard time finding anything ... In any case, I have been learning a lot about rocket engine, hydraulic systems and other piece of exotic machineries.



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