Author Topic: Orbex  (Read 54250 times)

Offline ringsider

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Offline Kryten

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #41 on: 01/28/2019 01:46 pm »
https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/moray/1663847/rocket-manufacturing-soon-to-take-off-in-moray/?utm_source=twitter
Quote
Private spaceflight company Orbex has bought a vacant building on Forres Enterprise Park and started a recruitment drive for highly specialised engineers.
[...]
The Forres facility, which will be Orbex’s headquarters, is due to be officially opened next month at an event attended by Graham Turnock, head of the UK Space Agency.
Presumably this is the 7th February event they've be teasing on Twitter

Offline ringsider

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #42 on: 01/29/2019 06:58 am »
https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/moray/1663847/rocket-manufacturing-soon-to-take-off-in-moray/?utm_source=twitter
Quote
Private spaceflight company Orbex has bought a vacant building on Forres Enterprise Park and started a recruitment drive for highly specialised engineers.
[...]
The Forres facility, which will be Orbex’s headquarters, is due to be officially opened next month at an event attended by Graham Turnock, head of the UK Space Agency.
Presumably this is the 7th February event they've be teasing on Twitter
It's interesting how these guys just stay mostly silent but apparently still make progress - in this story purchasing a factory etc. - but even in this news piece  the management declined to comment. It's the complete opposite of most others out there. They really keep fairly silent on tech developments, which is either suspicious or clever - not yet sure which.

Also they are quite good at trolling - on Twitter they recently posted pictures of a sofa and new carpets, where others post engines or whatever. It's a different approach for sure.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2019 06:59 am by ringsider »

Offline gongora

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #43 on: 01/29/2019 12:46 pm »
It's interesting how these guys just stay mostly silent but apparently still make progress - in this story purchasing a factory etc. - but even in this news piece  the management declined to comment. It's the complete opposite of most others out there. They really keep fairly silent on tech developments, which is either suspicious or clever - not yet sure which.

There are a bunch of companies acting like this (in both launcher and satellite development), we just tend to focus on the ones that are being vocal.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2019 12:46 pm by gongora »

Offline Stevenzop

Re: Orbex
« Reply #44 on: 01/29/2019 02:58 pm »
https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/moray/1663847/rocket-manufacturing-soon-to-take-off-in-moray/?utm_source=twitter
Quote
Private spaceflight company Orbex has bought a vacant building on Forres Enterprise Park and started a recruitment drive for highly specialised engineers.
[...]
The Forres facility, which will be Orbex’s headquarters, is due to be officially opened next month at an event attended by Graham Turnock, head of the UK Space Agency.
Presumably this is the 7th February event they've be teasing on Twitter

Interesting... Forres is just up the road from me. Never thought I'd see the day a rocket factory would pop up in north east Scotland! I wonder if they need anyone to make cups of tea and sweep the floor...

Offline ringsider

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #45 on: 01/29/2019 04:55 pm »
It's interesting how these guys just stay mostly silent but apparently still make progress - in this story purchasing a factory etc. - but even in this news piece  the management declined to comment. It's the complete opposite of most others out there. They really keep fairly silent on tech developments, which is either suspicious or clever - not yet sure which.

There are a bunch of companies acting like this (in both launcher and satellite development), we just tend to focus on the ones that are being vocal.
Astra, maybe ABL.... Who else?
« Last Edit: 01/29/2019 04:56 pm by ringsider »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Orbex
« Reply #46 on: 02/07/2019 05:24 pm »
Awesome news:

ARTICLE: Orbex reveals Prime’s second stage as it prepares for UK domestic launches -

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/02/orbex-primes-second-stage-uk-launches/

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1093575933980798976
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Offline Nomic

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #47 on: 02/07/2019 07:42 pm »
As per presentation from December, 2nd stage is pressure fed.

Nozzle extension to 3d printed chamber looks welded.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Astro_Jonny/status/1093559574697779200

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #48 on: 02/10/2019 09:41 pm »
As per presentation from December, 2nd stage is pressure fed.

Nozzle extension to 3d printed chamber looks welded.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Astro_Jonny/status/1093559574697779200

One of the most impressive things about this is that the TVC actuators are holding up the engine on one side and the rest of the stage on the other. These guys have been busy doing real work.

Those are (seemingly commercial) electric ball-screw actuators (small second stages have low-rate TVC requirements, generally) and I doubt that stage masses even 1000 lbs.  So not that hard to do.

Offline Tywin

Re: Orbex
« Reply #49 on: 02/13/2019 03:52 am »
Orbex, sign a contract with SSTL for launch a demonstrators, satellite in 2021:


Quote
Orbex has also confirmed that it will launch an upcoming satellite in SSTL’s line of demonstrators by 2023. “We are extremely excited about the development of a sovereign UK satellite launch capability,” commented Sarah Parker, Managing Director of SSTL. “This is something SSTL has been advocating for many years, and it will benefit the entire UK space industry. We have been impressed with the rapid progress Orbex has made in a short time, and we look forward to working with them towards the first launch in 2021 and beyond.”

https://spacewatch.global/2019/02/british-new-space-orbex-space-to-launch-sstl-payload-from-scotland-in-2021/
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Offline Gliderflyer

Re: Orbex
« Reply #50 on: 02/13/2019 04:32 am »
Their engine has an interesting igniter setup. Looking at this image, there are some solenoid valves that tap off of the LOX and fuel main valves and feed into what looks like a torch igniter (or two, based on the tees in the lines). There is an apparent lack of a spark plug and they claim no "electrics" in the igniter, so I'm still guessing it is an acoustic igniter. There are also some interesting bumps on the side of the igniter body; they must have some very interesting internals in that part.
I tried it at home

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #51 on: 02/15/2019 03:51 pm »
I read "coaxial" as a sort of tank-in-tank design with, say, a 1x-metre propane tank enclosed by a 1.5x metre LOX tank. I think that would explain why they need a fuel that won't freeze at LOX temps.

If only the outer LOX tank needed to bear structural loads and the inner propane tank just needed nothing more than to physically separate that fuel from the LOX with no thought to insulation, might that account for the 30% mass savings?

If the inner tank was even inflatable like a bladder or balloon within the LOX, might a single pressurization system suffice for both propellants?

I'm probably way out in left field, but it would certainly be "different". ;-)

The interplanetary podcast had an interview with Orbex CEO Chris Larmour this week.  Interesting stuff in there.

https://www.interplanetary.org.uk/single-post/2019/02/15/120-Orbex-Special

He talked a bit about the coaxial tank. The LOX is acting as a cooling jacket for the propane tank.  They don't need a separate cooling system. The propane is densified, so end up 2% more
'powerful' in Lamours words. 

As well as structural weight, the coaxial tank is saving on plumbing weight, since it sits on the base of the LOX tank.

The turbopump runs at a relatively low temperature, so they can use automotive grade metal in their 3d printing.

They are also looking at some sort of engine recovery.
They won't use parachutes so not sure what they're planning.


Offline PM3

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #52 on: 02/17/2019 01:19 pm »
This is how it began:

- Copenhagen Suborbitals by Danish Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson

- Project 'Moonspike' by Chris Larmour and Kristian von Bengtson. They planned a crowdfunded two-stage alcohol-fueled rocket that should crash a capsule into the Moon. (Crowdfunding failed.)

Chris Larmour now is Orbex CEO, von Bengtson is CTO. Prime engines still developed and tested in Denmark.

=> New German WP article: Prime (Rakete)


Btw, there is some confusion where the engines are manufactured. Some sources say Denmark, others Germany or both countries. It's true that the 3D Printer - an SLM-800 - is made in Germany, but I can hardly beleive that SLM also makes the engine parts. Sounds like a confusion of printer and engine manufacturers. Does someone know it for sure?
« Last Edit: 02/17/2019 06:48 pm by PM3 »
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #53 on: 02/20/2019 03:55 pm »
This is how it began:

- Copenhagen Suborbitals by Danish Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson

- Project 'Moonspike' by Chris Larmour and Kristian von Bengtson. They planned a crowdfunded two-stage alcohol-fueled rocket that should crash a capsule into the Moon. (Crowdfunding failed.)

Chris Larmour now is Orbex CEO, von Bengtson is CTO. Prime engines still developed and tested in Denmark.

=> New German WP article: Prime (Rakete)


Btw, there is some confusion where the engines are manufactured. Some sources say Denmark, others Germany or both countries. It's true that the 3D Printer - an SLM-800 - is made in Germany, but I can hardly beleive that SLM also makes the engine parts. Sounds like a confusion of printer and engine manufacturers. Does someone know it for sure?
Interesting. IIRC Furfuryl Alcohol was mentioned in John Clarkes "Ignition" as a (potential) propellant that was (at the time) a by product of the mfg of "Quaker Oats." However I think there some concerns that it was a suspected carcinogen.

OTOH being pretty cheap, reasonably high performance, hypergolic and radically less toxic than the usual NTO/hydrazine combo (and operated entirely inside sealed systems) I'd be reasonably comfortable with that risk.  Of those being hypergolic with nitric acid seems to have been the problem that caused the US to switch to NTO in the 50's.

I think there's an interesting little research project in understanding exactly why it's hypergolic with WFNA and something like RP-1 isn't (given access to 6 decades better instruments and chemical modelling tools) but sadly no one seems to care enough,  other than for the sheer intellectual curiosity of the subject.  :(

Of course not being  LOX opens up the field for CFRP tanks but I've yet to see a turbopump design in all this.
TBH I've always thought if you wanted to go cheap (but still quite impressive performance) the flow metrics concept (small very high pressure tank drives pump of valved chambers rather than turbine) to be the way to go. True, it needs 3 tanks, but the high pressure one is going to be much smaller than making the other two operate at main chamber pressure (in fact more like 2x main chamber pressure).
« Last Edit: 02/20/2019 04:03 pm by john smith 19 »
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 TBC. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline PM3

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #54 on: 02/22/2019 12:02 pm »
Orbex' answer to Launcher's "largest 3D-printed rocket engine part"  ;D

https://twitter.com/orbexspace/status/1098866851352854528

Quote
Orbex unveils the world's largest rocket factory sofa.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2019 12:08 pm by PM3 »
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Offline Lar

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #55 on: 02/22/2019 01:18 pm »
Troll class: master.
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Online edzieba

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #56 on: 02/22/2019 03:13 pm »
Now for Relativity Space to unveil the world's largest 3D printed rocket factory sofa, to close the circle.

Offline Tywin

Re: Orbex
« Reply #57 on: 07/19/2019 01:51 am »
Very interesting interview to the CEO of Orbex:

Quote
“We thought about how to solve this problem by re-architecting the vehicle and decided to use propane as the fuel. Propane has some unique properties that allow us to build a vehicle that is about 30 percent lower mass than anyone else in this category, which makes Orbex less costly while offering higher performance,” said Larmour. “We’re also able to use bio-propane, which is chemically equivalent, but is also a clean, renewable fuel that helps makes our Prime launchers up to 30 percent lighter and 20 percent more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category, packing more power per cubic liter than many heavy launchers. It also cuts carbon emissions by 90 percent compared to fossil hydrocarbon fuels.”

Quote
Another issue that Orbex has been looking at is the growing issue of space debris/junk. “We certainly didn’t want our launcher to be dropping litter in space. So, we deliberately set out to architect the vehicle so it would not leave any debris on orbit. We deliberately designed features into the Stage 2 to de-orbit very rapidly, so it burns up on re-entry. We created a new zero-shock staging system, which leaves zero orbital debris. It also features a novel reusability concept, with a new low mass recovery and re-flight system, which is now patent-pending,” Larmour said.

https://www.satellitetoday.com/innovation/2019/07/18/orbex-ceo-ready-for-the-challenge-ahead/
« Last Edit: 07/19/2019 01:52 am by Tywin »
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Offline Olaf

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #58 on: 08/07/2019 03:19 pm »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Orbex
« Reply #59 on: 10/26/2019 01:42 pm »
https://twitter.com/orbexspace/status/1188030371776159744

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A visual tour of the Launch Operations Control Centre (LOCC) at the proposed spaceport in Sutherland. Orbex Prime vehicles will be commanded from the right hand side of this centre & operated post-launch from... more on that topic in a couple of weeks ;o)

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