Monday, May 31, 2010

Little Monster Update

Readers may recall the following post section from below:

Little Monster Rocket does not have specific plans, and has not updated this web page in over a year. The FAQ is detailed, however, and contains some interesting discussion. One key question is: "Is the N prize possible?" The authors say yes, comments say "show us the math."

This N prize team has provided me with additional information, and suggested the following links for interested readers:

A detailed interview over at

And also two recent blog posts about the plans:
Blog post 1
Blog post 2

"First, a little about what we're not doing. We're not doing a balloon launch (rockoon), air launch, jet assisted booster, space plane, light gas gun, electromagnetic mass driver, space elevator, nuclear rocket, beamed power-craft, anti-gravity system, teleporter, or any of the more exotic launch concepts."

"Each of our three(3) stages employs a single engine, with two(2)-axis control (gimbaled) – nothing fancy; no clustering. The system is fairly devoid of kludges: no variable thrust differential steering, exhaust vanes, or gas injection schemes; roll control is handled via simple gas jets. All engines are low pressure, including the booster. The third stage engine is roughly 30 psi chamber pressure (or potentially lower), the second stage roughly 60 psi; the booster will run at ~200 psi (or otherwise generally between 150 psi and 250 psi depending on certain experimental factors). The targeted specific impulse for the booster is estimated to be >220 s (sl), >230 s nominally; upper stages are both estimated at >270 s (vacuum).

The entire rocket will be about 75 kg GLOW (or more generally between 50 kg and 100 kg). The ultimate weight depends upon the final parameters of the third stage (the prototypes of which are now at ~560 g (wet mass) including payload, with an approximate 0.8 mass fraction; refer to the LMR-A/S3-HG for an example of one of our experimental third stages*)." Blog post 1

It would be incredible to see such a small rocket fly to orbit, or high altitudes at all. Looking forward to some images in the future!