Hoping to prove that the recyclable launch system market doesn’t belong to a select few high-profile companies, US firm EXOS Aerospace Systems and Technologies is making the final preparation for their Pathfinder flight of their reusable Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE (SARGE) at Spaceport America tomorrow.
SARGE, which is a reusable sounding rocket capable of carrying up to 50 kilograms to the edge of space in 3 to 4 minutes (and landing just 20 minutes later), is designed to provide suborbital services to the micro, nano and CubeSat community.
“We are excited to enter into the testing phase of our SARGE platform at Spaceport America,” said John Quinn, EXOS COO. “We look forward to enabling space research, manufacturing, and educational opportunity for the world by providing frequent flights that provide fast and affordable access to space.”
The EXOS COO also said that the rocket system has been designed to support up to 200 flights; however they propose to use SARGE, which utilises a LOX-ethanol propulsion module, as long as it’s “safe.”
“We have built SARGE to be overly robust until we have sufficient flight data to show us where we can shave off weight while still leaving plenty of margin for repeated reuse,” added Quinn.
Ultimately, the company has plans to sell the liquid fired rockets to MDA as “hard to acquire” targets as they near the end of their economically viable life.
Not content with suborbital flights however, the company also has plans to follow-up with an orbital vehicle that will use NASA’s Morpheus flight code which has been given a make-over by scientists from Intuitive Machines, C-Squared Systems, Helios, and XISP, Inc, as well as from EXOS.
“We are even more excited to reveal our plans for our Jaguar Reusable (first stage) LEO launcher. Since our SARGE rocket is designed for reusability, it is proving to be an excellent risk mitigation platform for our orbital technology development program and helping to drive space access costs down,” said Quinn.