Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Space Access ’11: Armadillo Aerospace

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 9, 2011
Filed under , ,

Russ Blink and Ben Brockert
Armadillo Aerospace

  • Showing AWESOME video of a rocket flight….
  • Turned over aircraft to Rocket Racing….flew them up in Tulsa….
  • Rocket Racing League is going to have a big announcement soon….
  • Tested engine….ran engine 1,000 times to determine reliability….no problems with it…
  • Ben: “You know you’re doing a lot of rocket testing when it gets really annoying.”
  • Working with NASA JSC on Project Morpheus — send a robonaut to the surface of the moon — did some testing on the engine and platform to land it on lunar surface
  • Had JSC folks at facility working on hardware…interesting collaboration because NASA folks designed things on analytical basis while Armadillo employees would think some elements were a poor design based on practical experience — so good cross-fertilization of ideas going in both directions
  • Have great engineers at NASA but not very hands on…
  • Ben: We learned a lot from NASA. Had a NASA welding expert who taught Armadillo a great amount about how to do welding
  • Space Adventures has sold 300 seats for human vehicle that they now have to build….
  • More cool video of a captive engine test
  • Armadillo is using 3-D printing for producing some parts
  • More cool video of some sort of 3 parachute drop test from an aircraft….
  • It’s Video Saturday here at Space Access ’11
  • More video — STIG hover flight
  • Another video!
  • Even more video!!
  • Ditto!
  • Double ditto!
  • Had problems trying to test STIG at Spaceport America in New Mexico because of airspace restrictions from White Sands Missile Range
  • need an agreement on when airspace will be open at Spaceport America — expect to sign an agreement next week and will go back out to New Mexico the week after to try again
  • Learning process for White Sands, Spaceport America and Armadillo on procedures for launches….need to streamline communications process
  • We do plans to launch this from New Mexico and are confident about it, but are looking at other options….not many other options…


  • In the design phase for human capsule — will be able the size of a Gemini capsule…8 engines…a lot of work to be done