Like Michael Jordan the Archaepteryx has come out of retirement for one more round.  The Archaepteryx was our microgravity drop vehicle.  Like Buzz Lightyear it doesn’t fly but falls with style.  At its full 300 pound drop weight it provides 20 seconds of microgravity when released from a balloon at 100,000 feet.  For the last 20 years it’s been in storage.

The Archaepteryx is being reimaged as drag reduction test bed for the Airship To Orbit program. The vehicle will undergo a steep weight reduction program, from 300 to 20 pounds. That part is actually easy. The massive nose weight has been removed and the steel and acrylic internal structure will be replaced with a carbon and foam one. The Archaepteryx has a beautiful custom 26 foot orange and brown parachute and a mach 5 all kevlar ribbon drogue. That will be replaced by a 7 foot parachute out of the ML rocket.  Look for drop test to start in the fall of next year.

3 Responses to “Archaepteryx”

  1. Cameron says:

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