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Tuesday, July 06, 2004
SPACE TRANSPORT CORPORATION LAUNCHES TEST ROCKET
In celebration of July 4th, Space Transport Corporation (STC) launched a two-stage rocket to 56,000 feet (17.0 kilometers). This flight proved out the recovery system and resulted in excellent high-altitude digital pictures. STC plans a three-stage rocket launch to 60 kilometers later this month. This two-stage launch was, in a way, a final tuning flight prior to a 60 kilometer shot. The two- and three-stage rockets are four inches in diameter. The 60-kilometer flight test is separate from the Rubicon launch, which will stay on track for a launch in the second half of July. Pictures from the flight are appended to this press release. The picture at lower left is the best shot from near apogee. The onboard camera took pictures every 4 seconds throughout the flight. Apogee was achieved approximately 50 seconds after liftoff. The peak speed was 2450 mph or Mach 3.4. The expected slight ablation (when material “melts away” during high-speed flight through the atmosphere) was seen on the rocket’s nosecone. Space Transport Corporation develops launch vehicle technologies using a practical test-oriented approach. Eric Meier and Phillip Storm are the driving force behind STC. STC is a contender for the $10 million Ansari X Prize (see www.xprize.org). The space tourism market, one of STC’s ultimate targets, is worth much more than $10 million. For more information about STC activities, please visit www.space-transport.com.
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