In Progress

Cold Flow Static Engine Test

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Estimated Completion:September 2020

For the cold flow, we run pressurized water through our entire system to evaluate the effectiveness of our designs. This test allows us to operate our pipes, tank, and electronics without the additional safety risk of explosive fuel. There are many parts of a rocket that must be carefully tested to ensure the success of a mission. The cold flow is a checkpoint on our way to Callisto 1 that allows us to have greater confidence in the safety of the Aphlex 1B engine. Each propellant tower will have separate cold flow tests before they are tested in conjunction.

Aphlex 1A Engine

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Estimated Completion:December 2020

Every rocket engine in service today has undergone extensive testing to validate its capabilities and safety ratings. For Project Caelus, our first static engine test will be the proving ground for various systems before integration into a flight. Startup & ignition procedures, engine performance characteristics, abort procedures, ground station controls, and communications will all be focal points of evaluation during this test. To ensure the safety of our members, we've decided to simplify the engine design significantly — opting to use non-cryogenic propellants and removing complex heat exchanger circuits.


Callisto I

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Estimated Completion:July 2021

Callisto I will be the first liquid propellant rocket system to be flown by Project Caelus. Its primary mission is to test the avionics, software defined radio (SDR), video streaming, passive control systems, recovery systems, launchpad preparations, and launch procedures. It will also be the first true additively manufactured Methalox engine to be tested and flown by Project Caelus.

Callisto II

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Estimated Completion:June 2022

The purpose of Callisto II is to serve as an intermediate testing platform between Callisto I, our first flight, and Callisto III, our projected attempt at a suborbital flight. The possibilities of multi-engine stages, solid strap-on boosters, and a high altitude optimized upper stage are still on the table. Perhaps the greatest innovation in this iteration of the Callisto family is the implementation of a helium dynamic pressure regulation system (DPR) to ensure constant and controlled chamber pressures throughout the entirety of the flight. In addition, due to the projected top speed and high altitudes, the recovery and communication systems may need to be redesigned entirely.

Callisto III

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Estimated Completion:June 2025

Callisto III is the culmination of the immense dedication and passion our team will have put into this project. Our final goal, to reach the Karman line (100 km) and successfully recover the rocket, will be achieved with this massive 9 meter long, ~100 kN liftoff thrust rocket projected to cost over $50,000. The engineering challenges associated with this are evidently difficult — massive combustion instability problems, large cooling circuits, and a more complex ground station communication system. The statistics for this flight are not yet determined at this point.

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