News from Team Stellar – Testing

Deep Space Maneuvering Rocket Testing shows Encouraging Results

As you know, Jason and I both hold positions in Team Stellar. I am very pleased to report on the successful first tests of “VECTOR”.

This is from the Team Stellar pages at:

After several long years of R&D efforts in our Experimental Technologies division, our lead Mr. Uroš Kejžar finally ran the first test of his brainchild – liquid-fueled rocket prototype codenamed “VECTOR”. Tests were organized in collaboration with Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Mr. Uroš Kejžar

The general idea is to produce a very small and affordable spacecraft, as large as a coin, with small thrusters which will be cheap to produce and to launch in to the outer space. Swarms of that kind of spacecraft will be able to explore wide sections of the outer space on a low-cost basis. That type of small spacecraft may enable the man to explore asteroids and other celestial bodies through the Solar System and beyond. Potentials for use of the VECTOR thrusters in space explorations are very promising, but the engine had to prove itself through tests. The prototype thruster weighs between two and three grams, but the goal is to produce a thruster under one gram.

This idea came to us as a part of our ‘Beyond the GLXP’ plan, as we are developing solutions that enable access to space. Future plans for our GLXP and beyond GLXP usage of VECTOR technology will be revealed as we see appropriate.

The tests of the VECTOR water engine prototype were conducted in a small sized vacuum chamber. The vacuum chamber used in these tests is a housing made of glass from which all air is removed by a vacuum pump. This procedure creates a low pressure environment within the chamber. The vacuum environment allows the researchers to test mechanical devices which must operate in outer space, because it creates similar conditions. Initial series of tests were all about configuring the testing equipment itself. With such tests, it is incredibly important to properly configure the measurement equipment.

Vacuum chamber

The results of the preliminary tests are promising, because the device worked well in the vacuum conditions, but further tests are necessary to measure the power of the propulsion. Mr. Kejžar will continue with tests this week, and we will have more precise results very soon.

Our expectations of these small thrusters are disproportionately big. Expect further updates as we leave the experimental stage and approach the launch stage.