Reusable Launch Systems Aren’t The Only Way To Lower Cost To Orbit

The Super Strypi launch system may soon have a test launch in Hawaii (H/T Nature News)  It’s part of a Department of Defense program aimed at lowering the cost to orbit for small satellites.  The program has had more than its share of troubles, and the launch date for the Super Strypi has slipped a few times.

The technology involved is a low-tech rail guided launch.  I say low-tech because there is not attempt to use the rail as an acceleration force or to use an outside acceleration force on the rocket while it follows the rail.  Both of these systems would save money through reducing the rocket’s fuel requirements.  So does Super Strypi, but instead of providing fuel-free acceleration, the guide system (set at a 45 degree angle) would allow the rocket to spin, making it more stable.  This stability will make it easier to guide the rocket (and the small satellite payload) to orbit, which would also require less fuel.

As of this posting, the plan is for a launch sometime local time on Monday, November 2.  It would mark the first satellite launch from the State of Hawaii.


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