PurposeMars DescentMars Ascent
Weight Wet8000kg4500kg
Weight Dry900kg720kg
Engines9 Asterex9 Asterex
UPDATE 2020-08-10 21:06:51.248000
Pythom Technical Debrief and Visit from Space Cadets
Asterex, inspired by Apollo.
Asterex, inspired by Apollo.
Apollo resurrect, Black Magic, Spaceforce 2.0
Procedures rundown Bay 1.
Procedures rundown Bay 1.
The future Spaceforce.
The future Spaceforce.
Full throttle. Note the artwork in making at the old school board.
Full throttle. Note the artwork in making at the old school board.
Material scientists learning from nature. Painting by Joseph Wright of Derby: The Alchemist discovering phosphorus in search of the philosopher's stone.
Material scientists learning from nature. Painting by Joseph Wright of Derby: The Alchemist discovering phosphorus in search of the philosopher's stone.
Inspecting rocket engine parts.
Inspecting rocket engine parts.
CEO at work.
CEO at work.
Summer nights at the rocketshop...
Summer nights at the rocketshop...
...spent with the greatest plumbers in human history.
...spent with the greatest plumbers in human history.
The rocket equation was all there was when they started.
The rocket equation was all there was when they started.

Asterex arrived at our rocket shop last month. Since then we've spent late nights with Bernoulli, Torricelli, and Venturi - key people of fluid dynamics, or in less fancy terms - the best plumbers in human history. Our mission: Control fluids that dissolve a piece of copper in one single second, running at a pressure 20 times the force of water in a shower.

A solution would provide the world with its first unified space propulsion system.

Today all space systems use different engines and propellants for liftoff, space travel, and exo landings (Moon, Mars, asteroids). Asterex is the first rocket engine to provide a "unified" system  and to achieve this we need:

1. Storables (non-cryogenic propellants).
2. Black Magic (high pressure without turbopumps).

Cryogenic propellants kick better than Storables. This is partly compensated for by higher density (smaller tanks, less weight) but only a higher chamber pressure will allow storable propellants to fully compete with the cryosystems in terms of punch.

Most small launch vehicles operate at 2-3 MPa. Rocket Lab at the high-end produces 5 MPa chamber pressure. We build for twice that - 10 MPa - as far as we know never achieved for our class. Hot tests usually make waves, ours could be extra.

This is also why Asterex is so small: The higher the pressure level, the smaller the engine size. The engine was inspired by the most successful spaceship in history - the Apollo lunar lander. Apollo engines were manufactured in Inconel, the exact same material in our own engine now sitting at our office. Except ours is 3D printed.

The Apollo engines only had 1 MPa pressure; Black Magic will raise that with a magnitude. Together with our rapid manufacturing engineers we may have found a way to 3d print also those components (digital tools and machine parks are developing fast).

The majority of rocket failures (lately Astra, Virgin) involve valves and fuel lines in one way or another, indicating plumbing is perhaps the hardest part of rocket engineering. Asterex high pressure increases the demands on valve construction and actuation (shutoff valves remotely closed and opened within 10th of a second).

The challenge is to design an actuator producing enough torque and speed without adding too much weight. Tests this coming fall.

In other news - Visit from Space Cadets (a k a Spaceforce 2.0)

The city called and asked could we host some 30 kids enrolled in a local science summer camp. The space cadets showed up and we had a brief in front of the bay:

"Ask before you touch." With that out of the way: "Touch everything," we handwaved, "heck, even the engine."

They took full control of the shop. Rode our skateboards, played table tennis, inspected seashells over in the lab, inquired if bombs (preferably nuclear) could be mounted on Eiger, and will we bring weapons to Mars?

They turned the blackboard into art. At an age when we couldn't tell our right leg from the left; these little wizards drew rovers and satellites - riding in different orbits to boot.

One kid, maybe 7, grabbed Tom from a far corner and dragged him to the board where he had penned a schematic of our engine cluster and noted ’55 mph’. “Will we make it to Space in 1 hour at that speed?" he wanted to know. We realized too late that nobody had signed an NDA.

Over by the Estes rockets, a little girl, maybe 8, started folding a parachute perfectly. And "of course" she knew Inconel. "What will happen with the rocket shop when you go to Mars?" she inquired. "Will it close?" We hadn't thought of that.

Afterward, back at the bay, we ran a brief survey.

Q: How many want to go to space?

70% of hands came up.

Q: Why?

(Girl, maybe 7): Because it’s INCREDIBLE.

Not all were on board: "Why does a rocket engine look like a coffee cup," asked a little guy. "I wanted to go to Space until I realized it would have to be on coffee cups."

They got into the practicals: How long did that one take to build, and that one? How long for a Moon mission, how long to go to Mars.

Finally, we asked, "anyone wants a job here?"

90% raised hands. Well, "how much do you charge?" said Tom.

Offers started at $50 per hour but came down quickly to $1, until someone cried out, “I'll take what I get!”

Unfortunately, nobody could actually show up for work Monday at 7 am, due to other commitments.

Space Cadets - Unofficial Trailer

Asterex Rocket Engine
Asterex Version2.0. Metal 3D print
Asterex2.0 with tanks and propellant feed system.
Asterex Version2.0. Close up of pintle injector
Asterex ColdFlow Rendering
Napkin Sketches
Asterex Cut CAD
Asterex Pintle
Asterex 3DPrint
Asterex Lightup
Asterex light
Endoscope test
Cut text
Apollo patent 3D convert
Ancestry Composition Chromosome Painting
W kg8159
SpO2 %9898
Resp bpm--
Body T C37.137.0
UPDATE 15/01/2021
Report ID: 167bf665-e9f9-43d3-b91f-84e8207c0924
UPDATE 04/01/2021
Report ID: 29c2f26f-66ed-4e0b-8b07-98800f04105e
UPDATE 02/12/2020
Report ID: 623900fc-60db-4df5-a973-12cce712da7a
UPDATE 21/10/2020
Report ID: fef6f05e-1920-4028-b70e-b8efcf4e7c8e
UPDATE 10/08/2020
Report ID: f0dd4af4-8e5b-4c19-b51c-b14ab1b06685
UPDATE 07/07/2020
Report ID: 6efd88d8-0d17-4f83-94cc-099f6bc5dab5
UPDATE 10/03/2020
Report ID: 319d4b5c-65b4-46e6-aa55-c6e938cf64c7
UPDATE 07/02/2020
Report ID: 7f2a2dfe-e3c5-430f-939e-5ed14b4a3c27
UPDATE 31/10/2019
Report ID: cab31002-a4f4-4531-a3ff-114682b4b4b8
UPDATE 13/08/2019
Report ID: 6aafba0c-3b2d-4698-8265-2d085122c69b
UPDATE 20/07/2019
Report ID: 8c28ccf4-5bd5-456f-a590-fa2b95a3fc64
UPDATE 09/05/2019
Report ID: c342a8ef-1c9e-4fa3-8cba-dd30617eb2e9
UPDATE 23/04/2019
Report ID: ae2ad53d-0d7e-4a1d-8c10-800b927eba0a
UPDATE 31/03/2019
Report ID: f59f4970-ccbe-40ea-9721-8b5c9361fa79
UPDATE 20/12/2018
Report ID: 1ab86d38-e5ea-4bd1-a329-bb4453dff611
UPDATE 12/11/2018
Report ID: 63fa6c85-5125-4f3d-b0f5-7b51452192bf
UPDATE 09/10/2018
Report ID: f3390c28-9cc1-4f85-a25a-d2520c478342
UPDATE 04/09/2018
Report ID: 0c8710a2-9b53-4fe9-9c0d-058662f02c42
UPDATE 28/08/2018
Report ID: 37cfc577-b9e0-4ebc-bc67-7dd12038431e
UPDATE 14/08/2018
Report ID: 7b19fb3b-9c4d-41d6-b452-30870e898a5a
UPDATE 09/07/2018
Report ID: 0c8e237f-b49f-41de-b057-6ad6d101bb38
UPDATE 19/06/2018
Report ID: 4dcd9a2c-84c4-4fe8-9e52-8d7f997be71c
UPDATE 04/06/2018
Report ID: dff3729d-a1ba-433f-b63e-555e1bf24bdf
UPDATE 24/04/2018
Report ID: d327b95d-f0f4-4d60-93a9-0c93706e38a1
UPDATE 23/04/2018
Report ID: 648df00e-856e-43f8-a59d-f3461fcd644b
UPDATE 06/04/2018
Report ID: b2e0a1bc-e2b2-41b6-abb5-5721f24a863b
UPDATE 27/02/2018
Report ID: 47ec71d5-3002-4480-8407-273ccfdd8653
UPDATE 21/08/2017
Report ID: a693733a-2566-45c2-b5ee-16ff0970b0c0
UPDATE 05/06/2017
Report ID: 62eb784d-7186-4827-8772-996b7348f93c
UPDATE 20/05/2017
Report ID: f9a34b57-2f4f-41b7-9cbb-660f543dd0bf
UPDATE 13/05/2017
Report ID: d4715fd1-c3f2-4cc6-bc05-cd52137965b8
UPDATE 11/05/2017
Report ID: 43c3dd80-00da-4903-8fd4-4e3b4bc87b95
UPDATE 27/04/2017
Report ID: 8a19244e-db3f-4c08-9202-ac5bffd0be0e
UPDATE 11/04/2017
Report ID: c84882b3-7766-457c-9e07-3ce06f6b87aa
UPDATE 04/03/2017
Report ID: 3c294a65-d7f9-4c33-a638-d1cf6d8ea905
UPDATE 06/02/2017
Report ID: 74b5ec43-16c0-4df7-99d7-92d890c565ff
UPDATE 03/02/2017
Report ID: 08ab2b7d-d058-4bbd-8628-494c94b76263
UPDATE 02/01/2017
Report ID: e773b8bc-813c-4969-ba98-bd62d560c2ef
UPDATE 28/12/2016
Report ID: 1c1f4c37-83e5-446c-80fd-0eaa3f39307f
UPDATE 09/12/2016
Report ID: 355eacad-9e0c-443e-a4ef-003f070cdc73
UPDATE 05/07/2016
Report ID: b414c3c9-dd9c-45bc-b026-e14f1a3baaa8
UPDATE 15/05/2016
Report ID: 0d80cc69-65ad-4da0-9f39-bb03efef4124
UPDATE 15/05/2016
Report ID: 2d645929-011c-4df4-a1b5-2b8230a3b70e
UPDATE 13/05/2016
Report ID: 2d6a777e-696c-4b5e-b159-4fdb66d90af3
UPDATE 12/05/2016
Report ID: b28079be-232c-48d5-8f6a-5f4f845342a2
UPDATE 17/04/2016
Report ID: 037bb255-3471-42af-a83f-a4090b7c425d
Space stories pre 2014
Space ship
Jonathan Sensor Simulation. Runtime:
Humidity: offline
Sensor ID: S000000001
Temperature: offline
Sensor ID: S000000002
Pressure: offline
Sensor ID: S000000003
Pressure Airlock: offline
Sensor ID: S000000019
O2: offline
Sensor ID: S000000022
O2: offline
Sensor ID: S000000024
EVA Suit 01
Humidity: offline
Sensor ID: S000000031
Temperature: offline
Sensor ID: S000000032
Pressure: offline
Sensor ID: S000000033
O2: offline
Sensor ID: S000000036
CO2: offline
Sensor ID: S000000037
Bio human 1
Pulse: offline
Sensor ID: S000000112
Respiratory: offline
Sensor ID: S000000113
SpO2: offline
Sensor ID: S000000114
Body temp: offline
Sensor ID: S000000115
Systolic: offline
Sensor ID: S000000116
Diastolic: offline
Sensor ID: S000000117
Bio human 2
Pulse: offline
Sensor ID: S000000212
Respiratory: offline
Sensor ID: S000000213
SpO2: offline
Sensor ID: S000000214
Body temp: offline
Sensor ID: S000000215
Systolic: offline
Sensor ID: S000000216
Diastolic: offline
Sensor ID: S000000217
vision approach proof-of-principle design prototype iteration iteration product
Asterex Rocket engine
Jonathan Sensor System
Mars Expedition
Transportation/Launch Systems
Life Support Systems
+/- sign up for reports
+/- contact
+/- in the news