spacecraft that can be used for microgravity missions

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bearnard66

Active Member
Do you know any of spacecraft that can be used for microgravity missions and experiments? Nowadays its rather popular and useful to use uncrewed guided space vehicles for particular microgravity missions.

jqavins

TRF Supporter
Your post confuses me. If you know that it's popular, how is it that you also need to ask which spacecraft are popularly used?

All of them?

bearnard66

Active Member
Your post confuses me. If you know that it's popular, how is it that you also need to ask which spacecraft are popularly used?
I just wanna know which ones are used and what are those spacecraft? I figured aut that some kinds of satellites and microsatellites are used for microgravity missions and experiments. The last one surprised me the most

Antares JS

Well-Known Member
Partly depends on how long your experiment needs to be exposed to microgravity for. If you just need a few minutes, you can get a flight on a suborbital sounding rocket from Wallops Island, or Blue Origin's New Shepard. If you need longer than that, you can probably looking at booking something on the ISS (if you need human operators) and/or one of the cargo ships that carry things there (SpaceX Dragon, NG Cygnus, SN Dreamchaser (coming soon)) if you don't. Which one you want depends on how long you want the experiment up there for and whether you need the equipment back or can just get your data remotely and dispose of the equipment. If your experiment is small enough and you don't need the equipment back, you could also put it on a cube sat and either get a rideshare with other payload(s) or get an Electron launch.

jqavins

TRF Supporter
Could you be more specific? Which ones have you figured out? If "the last one" surprised you, then which last one is that?

By "spacecraft" do you mean the launch vehicle or the orbiter? I was involved in one experiment that was given a little space on the surface of a GEO comsat, along with a little bit of power and a few bytes in the telemetry downlink.

bearnard66

Active Member
Partly depends on how long your experiment needs to be exposed to microgravity for. If you just need a few minutes, you can get a flight on a suborbital sounding rocket from Wallops Island, or Blue Origin's New Shepard. If you need longer than that, you can probably looking at booking something on the ISS (if you need human operators) and/or one of the cargo ships that carry things there (SpaceX Dragon, NG Cygnus, SN Dreamchaser (coming soon)) if you don't. Which one you want depends on how long you want the experiment up there for and whether you need the equipment back or can just get your data remotely and dispose of the equipment. If your experiment is small enough and you don't need the equipment back, you could also put it on a cube sat and either get a rideshare with other payload(s) or get an Electron launch.
Actually, I found one of those spacecrafts and this is the spacecraft by a private company from Scotland. This spacecraft can be used for microgravity missions at a lower cost than an orbital vehicle while taking advantage of an environmentally conscious fuel combination. Yeah, its not so capable as New Shepard or other modern space vehicles by prominent space companies but still, it accomplishes its missions well.
https://www.skyrora.com/skylark-l

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Antares JS

Well-Known Member
Actually, I found one of those spacecrafts and this is the spacecraft by a private company from Scotland. This spacecraft can be used for microgravity missions at a lower cost than an orbital vehicle while taking advantage of an environmentally conscious fuel combination. Yeah, it`s not so capable as New Shepard or other modern space vehicles by prominent space companies but still, it accomplishes its missions well.
https://www.skyrora.com/skylark-l
It doesn't seem to have had any actual launches/missions yet... but it has done a static fire so that's something.

Edit: Using peroxide for your oxidizer is a bit eyebrow-raising, but I guess it's probably not any more difficult to handle than LOX. It just doesn't perform as well.

jqavins

TRF Supporter
Not as well as LOX, but actually a bit better than nitrous oxide. It's touchier to handle than nitrous, yet quite manageable. If one doesn't mind the touchiness then it's a better choice for hybrids and monopropellants.

So, I guess from context that we're talking about launch vehicles, and short duration experiments. You might also want to check these guys out: Up Aerospace.

Sooner Boomer

Well-Known Member
Even cheaper: a balloon. From the time it pops (about 80K feet max) until it hits the ground, it will be in microgravity. That gives you a few minutes at a very low cost.

jqavins

TRF Supporter
Nope. Once it's well on the way to terminal velocity it's not in microgravity.

Sooner Boomer

Well-Known Member
Nope. Once it's well on the way to terminal velocity it's not in microgravity.
An object doesn't reach terminal velocity until the force of gravity is equal to the aerodynamic drag. At 80k feet (what is that, like 3 feet below orbital altitude?), there's no air, hence no drag. An object is going to fall a long way before it hits enough air for significant drag. Prove me wrong with numbers.