The mission: Bring down the space transportation costs.
The philosophy: The rocket business needs not to be a rocket science.
- No need to be perfect, but to be just good enough to accomplish the goal.
- Suboptimal design, relaxed conditions as much as reasonably possible.
- Optimize cost, (not weight nor performance nor other unimportant parameters).
The crucial milestones:
- The PEPE-200 development:
- (PEPE = Peroxide Propulsion Element.) A small (200N) fully throttable bi-propellant rocket engine optimized for precise maneuvering of a small probes and/or for reaction control system (RCS) purposes. Pumping and throttling secured by means of a simple electric gear pump.
- The R2D2 development:
- (R2D2 = Reusable Rocket Drone Demonstrator.) A proof of functionality of crucial components of (reusable) rocket-based transport systems. The R2D2 should demonstrate the capability of launch, stable controlled and/or autonomous flight and soft landing of a rocket-powered system. The craft of total mass about 60kg would be powered by 4 PEPE-200 engines.
- The PEPE-2k development:
- A larger (1-2kN) fully throttable bi-propellant rocket engine. Design based on experience obtained from PEPE-200 development. Pummping by means of electric pumps. Chamber pressure ca. 3MPa
- The µ-FR0G:
- (Fly Rocket for 0-g.) A small suborbital launcher, design based on the R2D2. (Main modification would be considerably larger propellant tanks and exchanging the 4xPEPE-200 for 4xPEPE-1k) Payload capacity ca. 20kg to ca. 120km altitude (ca. 4min of µ-g).
- The PEPE-10k development:
- An even larger (5-10kN) fully throttable bi-propellant rocket engine. Design based on experience obtained from PEPE-2k development. Pummping by means of electric pumps. Chamber pressure ca. 4MPa
- The FR0G-Xp:
- (Fly Rocket for Zero G Experiment/Experience.) A scale-up of the µ-FR0G, equipped with 12 PEPE-10k engines. Payload 200-300kg or 2-3 people to ca. 120km altitude (ca. 4min of µ-g).
- The FLEO:
- (Fly to Low Earth Orbit) A reusable nanosat launcher, payload to LEO ca. 15kg. The 2nd stage design based on the µ-FR0G, the first stage design based on the FR0G-Xp.
- The PEPE-100k development:
- An even larger (~100kN) fully throttable, electric pump fed bi-propellant rocket engine. Design based on experience obtained from PEPE-10k development. Chamber pressure ca. 4MPa
- The Hummingbird:
- A reusable µ-sat launcher (2 stages + spacecraft), payload to LEO 100-150kg.
- The PEPE-600k development:
- A full scale, throttable, electric pump fed (or fed by means of a simple turbopump) bi-propellant engine of 600kN thrust level. Chamber pressure ca. 5MPa.
- The Czech Sparrow:
- A reusable small class launcher (2 stages + spacecraft: both cargo and passenger versions), payload to LEO ca. 2,000kg. Designed in the way to possibly allow clusters of 2, 4, 6 or 8 (possibly 12) almost identical launchers for payload capacity boost up to ca. 20,000kg to LEO. (The idea is – unlike in most of the other designs – to cluster not only the first, but as well the second stages. Only the spacecraft might differ for different cluster versions.)
- The PEPE-200 development:
- From the very beginning of the design phase the focus was on the system low cost and reliability secured through maximizing the design simplicity and user-friendliness. The PEPE engines are fully throttable and run (or at least ignite) on a hypergolic, storable and dense propellant combination. The injector has a variable wetted area which allows for deep throttling without mixture ratio change and/or combustion instability problems. The key features are the following:
A low cost vacuum distillation apparatus developed. Capacity of ca. 1kg/h (initial concentration 69%, final concentration 87%).
PEPE00 first hot tests successfully performed. (A PEPE00 test version, no remote control, an un-cooled metal chamber/nozzle suitable for short runs only.) Multiple restart and throttle ability demonstrated.
- Finish the PEPE-200 engine development, incl. the electric pump.
- Development of the Reusable Rocket-Drone Demonstrator (R2D2).
- R2D2 flight tests to demonstrate the ability of launch, hover and soft landing.
- Marek Otevrel