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ERPS Site:
Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society
What's New The SF Bay Area's Non-profit Liquid-Fuel Rocket Engine Team

Vehicle Projects

The ERPS has also been looking at applications and uses for our engines, and have developed several vehicles which represent an evolving system of developing design, assembly and flight experience. Again, the Skunk Works "build a little, test a little" philosophy is used, limiting the number of changes per vehicle so that designs can be readily optimized and failure points can be minimized.

The vehicles of our development program form a progression in size and capability:
KISS POGO ReSOAR Black Magic PROTO ALPHA BRAVO
[ TOP ] KISS
The KISS vehicle, as the name would imply, is designed as a simple test base to demonstrate ERPS capabilities in flight. Its name and engineering philosophy are to Keep It Simple, Stupid, meaning it has the minimum of things required to get it flying and nothing more. With the able assistance of an intrepid band of ERPS members, this single-engine, hydrogen-peroxide monopropellant vehicle is scheduled to fly in mid-October of 2000. Its expected altitude is about 3000 meters.
[ TOP ] POGO
POGO is a small monopropellant vehicle designed to prove out guidance and flight control operations. It's basically a flying pogo stick, going up and down (hopefully under control) repeatedly; hence its name. Designed to be robust enough to handle hard landings and crashes from low altitude (10 feet), the vehicle is powered by 4 monopropellant H2O2 engines developed by ERPS. The small, heavy steel tank holds only 8 gallons of peroxide, ensuring that even if everything locks in the open position, the vehicle can't stray too far from the test pad.
Follow this link to see drawings of the Mark 0 POGO, the non-flying Engineering Mockup used for vehicle analysis and fine tuning.
[ TOP ] ReSOAR
ReSOAR is a small bipropellant vehicle designed to test flight control issues for reusable spacecraft. It is a scaled-down version of the P.R.O.T.O. SSTO vehicle and will be remotely piloted. The vehicle test program is like that of an aircraft, with each test flight being an incremental extension of the last. This "push the envelope" style of testing has proven very successful with aircraft and the recent DC-X flights. The ReSOAR ("Reusable SubOrbital Aeronautical Research") vehicle is the first designed to fly into space using this approach. The vehicle is capable of reaching altitudes in excess of 200km.
[ TOP ] Black Magic
Black Magic is a small bipropellant vehicle designed to carry 4 people to 100km altitude and return them safely to the Earth. The spacecraft is designed to be easily and quickly resupplied and relaunched to demonstrate rapid turnaround and "aircraft-like" operations. Should the X-Prize actually get funded, this vehicle could win it.
P.R.O.T.O. stands for Private Rocket to Orbit Tiny Objects, a small Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) demonstration vehicle designed to carry a 20 lb satellite to at least 150 nmi high orbit in a single stage. Initial vehicles will be expendable, but only small modifications would be needed to make this vehicle a fully reusable launch system.
[ TOP ] Alpha
The Alpha class of fully reusable spacecraft are designed to carry payloads of up to 3,000 lbs to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a single stage and return for reuse and reflight in a "rapid turnaround" environment. When equipped for passengers, the vehicle makes an excellent "executive transport" which can take business passengers anywhere on the surface of the Earth in an hour or less.
[ TOP ] Bravo
The Bravo class fully reusuable SSTO spacecraft is the larger sister of the Alpha, having a lift capability of over 7 tons. Bravo class vehicles will also be refuelable on orbit, allowing direct delivery of cargo to higher orbits, geostationary Clarke orbits, or even to the surface of the moon.

Copyright 2004 E.R.P.S.

Last Updated: 21:04:34 on 01 Apr 04

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