Trailblazer Research Rocket
The Trailblazer project is intended to provide a flight test for our main propulsion system design. While ground tests were valuable, it is essential to test systems in a flight regime. Trailblazer will conduct a number of tests that cannot be performed solely by ground static fires.
One critical capability of our hypergolic system is achieving smooth ignition and stable combustion during ascent loads, velocity and acceleration. This is important for upper stage applications. During the Trailblazer mission, we will shut down the engine and, after a coast period, attempt a restart.
In-flight restart is also a core aspect for the vehicle’s first stage in order to achieve our goal of powered descent and landing. Additionally, it will add to the vehicle safety factor and reliability by enabling a re-light in case of an engine-out scenario.
Our desire is to minimize the time and cost of building the Trailblazer vehicle so that we can focus on our own innovations. Because the purpose of Trailblazer is to conduct further R&D for our propulsion system and not a project to design, build and fly a rocket, Phoenix Launch Systems has decided to leverage some of the outstanding work being conducted by Portland State Aerospace Society and their open source aerospace projects. Just as in the software world, utilizing open source hardware designs can also reduce costs and project time to completion.
(Image Above: Schematic of the propulsion, feed and control system for Trailblazer. Click the image for a full-size version)