This phase of the programme involves the forward looking intellectual heavy lifting and small scale testing. It is an ideal project phase for students and enthusiasts to get involved and require a limited investment of work and time.

It requires the launch of smaller rockets that can be student built while the students will also learn organizational skills. All these little efforts are directly tied into aspects for building the demonstrator and eventual full scale vehicle: The MARVEL DSRB. In this phase we mainly study and retire risks and challenges concerning:

The basic configuration and stability of the Demonstrator vehicle (LITTLE MIRACLE) and the full scale vehicle (MARVEL); and also,

  • Aerodynamics;
  • Cryogenics (Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Methane);
  • Liquid propellant propulsion and fluid transfers;
  • Active fin stabilization from subsonic up to high Mach numbers;
  • Aerospike;
  • Aerothermal Behavior;
  • Thermal (flux/peak/total load/etc.) management of the drop tanks and materials selection (passive/active/ Thermal Protection System or not, which one, availability in Europe);
  • Defining an acceptable SE&I (Systems Engineering and Integration) paper work flow;
  • Inflatable heat shield;
  • SSTO operations at MARS;
  • Propellant plant studies;
  • Drafting an Artificial Gravity Open Standard (ARGOS);
  • Possibility to integrate inflatable structures inside of the MARVEL;
  • Costing studies;
  • CanSats and SmallSats that can be their own project, possibility for students to participate in competitions while being focused on building the end goal: MARVEL.

The starting point is this 1 meter tall design:

MARVEL Hobby Rocket (trim fins)

It includes auto-stabilization features in case of loss of the active-stabilization fins. After staging, the upper part must rely on active stabilization. This is a unique little challenge for trajectory control. But… Arduino/Raspberry Pi skills ‘might’ suffice for the smaller vehicles. Do you dare to give it a try? Or… can you build a European subscale reusable lander, like some companies across the ocean are already doing?

The larger versions will grow up to a size of 3 meters. Sub scale but supersonic.

Click here to continue to DEMO.

Picture: V-2 Display in Peenemünde Museum, Germany Peenemunde_02