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Results of EXOS Aerospace SARGE Launch at Spaceport America

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 12, 2018
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SARGE launch at Spaceport America. (Screenshot from Exos Aerospace webcast)

Spaceport America, NM and Greenville, TX (EXOS Aerospace/Spaceport America PR)Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport and EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of reusable space launch vehicles based in Greenville, Texas, announce a successful test launch of their newest vehicle, SARGE.

EXOS is pleased to announce completion of the first test flight their SARGE vehicle. The rocket reached an altitude of approximately 28 km. Launch and recovery took place at Spaceport America on August  25th, 2018. The rocket carried nine payloads. The flight demonstrated the SARGE system’s reusability when the vehicle was recovered with damage only to sacrificial components. The test also demonstrated the capability of the autonomous control system and validated the preflight vehicle integration process. The nine payloads included:

  • Payload 1: ASTRAX International – Memorabilia and collectables
  • Payload 2: PURDUE University – four-tray custom Cubesat Rack Mounting System
  • Payload 3: PURDUE University – PREFER- Atmospheric monitoring experiment
  • Payload 4: Johnny Ireland and Brenda Ferdinando- Cancer Survivor Memorabilia
  • Payload 5: Arete – Greater Nanticoke Area Heat Transfer Experiment
  • Payload 6: Space Kidz India-An 800 gram 1U package containing: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Pressure Monitor, Humidity Monitor, Luminosity Sensor, RGB Spectrum Analyzer, UV Spectrum Analyzer IR Thermopile Sensor, Hall effect  Sensor, Current/voltage Sensor, Sound wave Analyzer, High Accuracy Temperature Sensor, On-Board Video Recorder, On-Board TTL Camera, Ocimum tenuiflorum Seeds, Human DNA, Human RBC & WBC Microorganism, Custom built Cube sat Structure SKISAT OS, New kind of OBC, Secondary Backup OBC, Dust Sensor, Scintillation Counter, Nano Optoelectric Generator
  • Payload 7: Enterprise in Space Research cubesat, gum, seeds, post it notes
  • Payload 8: Center for Applied Space Technologies CAST-Mayo Space Medicine Tech. Test bed
  • Payload 9: Exos Round 1 Investor Dog Tags

EXOS is proud to announce their new Jaguar vehicle, which is based on SARGE technology. It is two-stage vehicle designed to carry 100 kg to altitudes of 200-400 km. The first stage will be a reusable, scaled-up version of the SARGE platform. Continuing suborbital flights of SARGE will be used to improve reusability of components by expanding both EXOS’s predictive and diagnostic technologies, thereby facilitating risk mitigation.

“It was great to host the successful test launch of the EXOS SARGE vehicle at Spaceport America. EXOS has checked-off another milestone on their path to develop a reusable LEO launcher,” said Dan Hicks, Spaceport America CEO. “This successful Pathfinder flight test brings them one step closer to regular commercial suborbital launches. We look forward to their next flight, and to working with them to achieve their longer term goals at Spaceport America.”

“We are excited to announce the successful test of our SARGE platform at Spaceport America, and even more excited to know that the risk mitigation phase that supports our goal of building a reusable first stage orbital platform is at a culmination point. The SARGE platform will now receive its final flight modifications, and start to provide data critical to building a reliable reusable (first stage) LEO launcher”, said John Quinn, EXOS COO.

“We look forward to enabling space research, manufacturing, and providing educational opportunities for the world by conducting frequent suborbital flights. This will demonstrate fast and affordable access to space and provide data critical to evolving the way reusability can be achieved.  The predictive and diagnostic software and technologies we are able to develop with the data from frequent suborbital flights will shape the way we reduce costs for dedicated LEO launchers in the future,” he added.

Check out videos that are and will be posted in the coming weeks (as we complete the processing) at

Exos Aerospace will be hiring new team members to assist in the development of the new vehicles soon.  If you want an opportunity to work with a cutting edge hands-on team, please send your resume to [email protected].

 What’s next for Exos? 

“Now that we have achieved a successful flight and recovery of the SARGE platform, EXOS will use the data from this flight to validate modeled performance and fine tune the vehicle for a NASA IDIQ qualification flight for the SARGE platform.  The next flight will carry a NASA REDDI payload to space as well as several other biomedical research and educational payloads.  In parallel, EXOS will continue developing live dynamic condition assessment and predictive system evaluation programs that will help us predict vehicle Remaining Useful Life applications for our orbital vehicle JAGUAR”, said John Quinn, EXOS COO.

“We have built SARGE to be overly robust until we have enough flight data to show us where we can shave off weight safely leaving plenty of margin for repeated reuse.” Quinn says.

EXOS has designed the rocket system to support up to 200 flights, however they propose to use the Lox/Ethanol vehicle as long as it’s “safe” and ultimately desire to sell the liquid fired rockets to Missile Defense Agency as “hard to acquire” targets as they near the end of their economic life.

Want to know more and have an opportunity to speak with EXOS’s COO in person? Join us at SpaceCom November 27th and 28th in Houston TX.  Exos will be participating in The SpaceCom Entrepreneur Summit at this conference.

About EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc.

EXOS is a leading developer of reusable space launch vehicles and its suborbital operations is based out of its brand-new facility in Greenville, Texas. Exos has commenced evaluation of sites for our LEO expansion and is also evaluating funding options for our next few “growth phases”.

EXOS provides affordable, repeatable, and reliable commercial spaceflight with accelerated turnaround. Our payload customers are those who want to “fly now” rather than a year from now, need minutes of micro G time and prompt access to their payload.

EXOS is booking payloads now on its SARGE vehicle and has SPACE available… or, if you are interested in Wet Leasing a SARGE vehicle for an extended research campaign, or are interested in pre-booking on our Jaguar vehicle for your 100-200KG LEO payloads, contact us for more details via the “contact us” link at

Exos is planning Jaguar Reusable first stage Orbital booster testing to commence by 2020, with commercial orbital operations by 2022.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot runway, and 340 days of good weather with low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EnergeticX Pipeline2Space and EXOS Aerospace. Visit for more information.

3 responses to “Results of EXOS Aerospace SARGE Launch at Spaceport America”

  1. Saturn1300 says:

    Since GPS glitch limited altitude, they might ought to go back to the old way before GPS, INS and timer. Used a parachute. If they use that system for LEO and it will come down in the salt water. I don’t think that will work with a LRB. A SRB does work as on the Shuttle SRM. I doubt they have enough money to go to the E or W coast for a orbital launch. Not enough customers spread out among other small launchers and ride share on large ones. If one in the competition lowers price and they survive that would be good.
    LRB cost too much to build. I think a SRB will win eventually. No ground fuel tanks or fuel lines. Cheap material to build. Re-use up to 20 times. Making and casting the fuel has to be able to able to be done by other than ATK and A-R. Maybe the regulations don’t allow it, but pouring fuel at KSC is possible. Transportation is easy with empty SRM casings. Maybe SpaceX reuse will turn out cheapest. It is possible that SRB reuse is cheaper. If a cheap way to build with welding rather than forging is possible with the segments. But liquid rock boosters are locked into everyone’s thinking since Godard. I wish he had built a giant fireworks rocket. Might have had LEO earlier.

  2. duheagle says:

    Solids have crummy ISP, toxic exhaust, expensive propellant and their reuse will never be remotely like a gas-and go proposition – it’s always going to be a lengthy and non-trivial remanufacturing process. We aren’t quite at the gas-and-go state with liquid boosters yet either, but you can see it from here. What a liquid booster costs to build has to be divided by how many reuses one can get out of it. The latter number is starting out low, but has no obvious upper limit at this point. And solids require huge transport infrastructure at the launch site. Liquid boosters, that are trundled to the pad empty, can use transporter-erector-launchers based on construction equipment technology. For solid boosters, which have to be transported at full take-off weight, you need equipment based on heavy mining technology – e.g., the Apollo/Shuttle crawler-transporters. For anything except tactical and strategic missiles, solids are a dead end.

    • Ignacio Rockwill says:

      I agree, but until we’re actually gassing and going the argument for solids or hybrids will keep cropping up. The last Gwynne update was they’ve reduced the Block 5 refurb time to 4 weeks. I’m more excited for their Block 5 24 hour turn around demo than any of the BFR stuff.

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