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REXUS 15 just had a successful flight.
Our data received on the ground station indicates that everything worked as expected. We were also able to extract all flight data from our SD card. Now it’s time to get a powerful computer and plot some graphics!
You should watch this video in HD and loud sound.
Today morning the teams from EUROLAUNCH/MORABA, DLR, ZARM and ESA fully assembled the payload.
In the afternoon all the student teams performed a successful cold countdown (that means it stopped 2min before lift-off). After that the motor mating and the “roll-out” to the launcher were performed.
Launch is planned on tuesday morning. But before a final Flight Readiness Review (FRR) had to be held. First we went through the launch timeline again. Then every responsible from EUROLAUNCH/MORABA, ZARM, DLR, SSC, ESA and the team leaders had to confirm that their contributions mission are ready.
Looking forward for a successful flight!
On Monday afternoon, we all travelled from Munich to Kiruna. After arriving at Kiruna Airport, we picked up our rental car and drove to Esrange Space Center. Surprisingly, we found the 40km long way without any navigation system.
After the first night, which can’t be considered a real night, as the sun never set, we had our first meeting at 9am. We unpacked our experiments and did first checks if our experiment were still working. Luckily everything was fine.
In the evening, we visited the radar hill, a hill at Esrange where most antennas are located and where you have the best view for watching the scenery (and later the rocket launch).
On Wednesday morning the Comm checks were carried out. Still everything worked for us so we had free time in the afternoon to visit Kiruna.
While driving to Kiruna we went off-road several times and had hope to photograph some moose. We didn’t see any. At about half the way between Esrange and Kiruna we visited an Icehotel. Sadly it way already melting and closed, but we were able to jump over an “ice-fence” and took some photos from inside.
In Kiruna we went to the local church, the town hall, and have seen two statues. A mine worker and a 1:1 model of a Maxus rocket. That was pretty much it.
Bored by Kiruna’s attractions, everybody was fallen asleep on the way home. Our driver still drove the car securely, but missed the exit to Esrange. After all, we drove into the wrong direction for half an hour. You should know that everything looks quite similar here. Always the same streets, the same trees, the same lakes, the same streets, the same trees, the same lakes.
This morning, we were able to sleep a bit longer. Only our team leader had to attend to the morning meeting at 9am. At 2pm, all RX15 experiments were connected with the rocket’s on-board service module. We undertook a first Bench test including two cold countdowns. Surprisingly, our new extraterrestrial friend Paxi from ESA visited us and kept an eye on our ground station.
Now we are heading over to a hot countdown tomorrow with all experiments screwed together. If everything stays on schedule, we will be ready for launch after the motor mating on Saturday.
On Monday, additional tests are planned. Our first launch slot is scheduled for Tuesday.
Last week, we were in Oberpfaffenhofen and tested our module together with the other experiments and the Service Module. For us, everything went quite well, the same is true for the other teams. There were some problems for some, but they could all be solved.
Our experiment is running longer then the others, so we can measure the accelerations on impact. Usually the test takes only a couple of minutes and then the experiments get shut off again, but we need power till the end, so everybody has to wait for us, making every test as long as the actual flight will take (about 20 minutes). That’s a lot of coffee.
The training week was held from 4th to 8th Feb 2013 at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen / Munich. The purpose of the training week was to learn how to develop technology for space flights andspace environments. We were taught about many technical subjects like telemetry but also learned about the management behind space flight, like risk management etc.
On Wednesday we were guided through the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen during a three hour long tour. It included a look into the DLR’s robot laboratory where next generation robots are currently developed. We were also shown the cleanest hangar in the world, a control center of the International Space Station and much more. It was really fascinating!
On Thurday we held our Preliminary design review (PLR), during which we presented our progress to a board of experts from the DLR/ESA/SSC. We were told that we were quite far with our design and everything went very well. Needless to say, we were quite happy.
On the same day we were invited to a party celebrating the 5 year anniversary of the Columbus Module – a part of the International Space Station developed by the European Space Agency. We went to the Fliegerhorst, which is an airplane museum in Oberschleißheim. After receiving different tours around the museum, we were allowed to dine in between the exhibits. One will hardly find a better place to have dinner!
All in all I have to say that it was a lot of fun and very interesting.