On Friday September 29th the Civilian Space Exploration Team successfully
launched the SPACESHOT 2000 rocket at 8:40 am PST from the Black
Rock Desert in Northern Nevada. The vehicle trajectory was nominal
up to motor burnout (max Q) with an altitude of 40,000 feet and
a velocity of 3,205 mph (Mach 4.9). Just after motor burnout the
vehicle experienced a slight wiggle followed by total vehicle
breakup approximately 0.25 seconds later. The rocket was expected
to reach an altitude of 60 nautical miles.
The motor casing was located downrange in the hazard area on the
nominal trajectory azimuth. The nosecone, payload and 1 fin were
found cross and downrange to the launch site. The two flight recorders
were recovered intact with excellent data throughout the flight.
The Post Flight investigation for the FAA report is underway and
more information including the most probable cause of the failure
will be published at a later date.
The entire event was documented by a 5-person camera crew and
will be shown on television in the near future.
Here is the final events and timeline that lead up to the launch
of SPACESHOT 2000.
7:40 am Ky Michaelson called Salt Lake, Oakland, and Seattle Traffic
control centers to get our launch window in real time from the
Black Rock Desert. The window was set for 8:30 am to 9:00 am PST.
Real-time communication was established to allow any of these
centers to call a hold on the launch.
7:45 am The Launch Director (Ky Michaelson) gave the go ahead to proceed
with the countdown.
7:46 am The Launch Conductor (Jerry Larson) began the countdown procedures
for the wind weighing.
7:50 am The weather balloon and instrumentation configured for 5,000
feet altitude climb was released.
8:10 am The weather balloon and instrumentation configured for 1,000
feet altitude climb was released.
8:15 am all wind data began processing for launcher azimuth and elevation
settings. Tower Crew was dispatched to the launch pad for final
8:20 am wind data processing complete, launch tower elevation and azimuth
settings radioed to Tower Crew.
8:30 am Pad was cleared of non-essential personnel. Safe and Arms were
activated. Motor igniter was armed for the firing command.
8:35 am Final sky checks were conducted, Safety Briefing was given by
RSO (Bruce Lee). FAA radar scopes were clear. All Launch Commit
Criteria (LCC) was within specifications. The Launch Director
(Ky Michaelson) gave final go ahead for launch.
8:39 am Launch Conductor proceeded with T- 60 second terminal countdown
8:40 am Liftoff, tower clear
Although the team was unsuccessful in achieving the goal of reaching
space, the team accomplished many primary objectives and set new
standards for amateur space rocket launches.
1) Set new amateur rocket burnout speed record of 3205 mph (Mach
2) First amateurs to develop software, hardware and conducted
wind weighting for a ground based space launch.
3) Obtained all waivers and permits from the FAA, AST (390,000
feet) and BLM in strict accordance with government regulations.
4) Established real-time communications with three (3) Air Traffic
FAA Radar Centers local aircraft surveillance and launch abort
5) Open the doors for future ground based space shot rocket launches.
SPACESHOT 2000 Team Members
Ky Michaelson, Project Director, Launch Director (LD)
Jodi Michaelson, Launch Weather Officer (LWO)
Bruce Lee, Range Safety Officer (RSO)
Jerry Larson, Project Manager, Launch Conductor (LC)
Tyler Larson, Winds Team
Roger McNamara, Winds Team Lead, Alternate Launch Conductor
Eric Knight, Sponsor, Remarkable Technologies, Inc
Rick Loehr, Motor Design, Winds Team
Randy and Gene Stinner, Machinists
Many thanks to others that were on hand to help out with erecting
the tower and final preparations for launch.
We would also like to thank the key government officials who helped
to make this possible. These are great people that worked long
hard hours to get the paper work through the system for us.
Randy Repcheck, FAA, AST, Space Transportation
Dean Balach, FAA consultant
Mike Bilbo, BLM
Rich Coffin, FAA, Air Traffic
I would like to personally thank Ky and Jodi Michaelson for sponsoring
this event and providing us the opportunity to take one step closer
to fulfilling our dream of launching into space.
We'll be back...
Civilian Space Exploration Team