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ULA "Future Heavy" sport rocket

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kyled921

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[video=youtube;YuoMwCaB2So]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuoMwCaB2So[/video]
 

Daddyisabar

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"Model" Rocketry at its biggest. Just a little sport flying fun in Colorado:) Any details on the flight?
 

kyled921

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I just had the article pop up in my news feed. Most of the articles I've found say the project involved a lot of interns at ULA and some school projects form K-12 students.
 

JumpJet

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This is the same ULA\Ball group that was present on Saturday during NARAM 56 in Pueblo. The Local Club here SCORE has hosted launcher there large rockets for several years but our launch site was unable to accommodate such a large rocket.

John Boren
 

rstaff3

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I'd like to know more about the rocket itself and the motor. Anyone know anything?
 

Daddyisabar

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50 feet tall. 1,245 lbs. We are talking big time throw weight here, not a mere motor, but many motors, staged. I think there were eight big ones in the booster, I believe they were commercially manufactured, so maybe some clustered N5800 action? Launched from Fort Carson Army base, ULA invite only with clearance. Too LARGE AND DANGEROUS for public model rocket launch site, but it sounds like the kids had a great time. Some COSROCS members went, maybe they will chime in.

http://gazette.com/video-world-record-rocket-launches-from-fort-carson/article/1581094

http://www.ulalaunch.com/search.aspx?q=Future+Heavy
 

Leo

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Looks like the booster cato'd into the flight?
 

rstaff3

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50 feet tall. 1,245 lbs. We are talking big time throw weight here, not a mere motor, but many motors, staged. I think there were eight big ones in the booster, I believe they were commercially manufactured, so maybe some clustered N5800 action? Launched from Fort Carson Army base, ULA invite only with clearance. Too LARGE AND DANGEROUS for public model rocket launch site, but it sounds like the kids had a great time. Some COSROCS members went, maybe they will chime in.

http://gazette.com/video-world-record-rocket-launches-from-fort-carson/article/1581094

http://www.ulalaunch.com/search.aspx?q=Future+Heavy
Yes, I typo-ed the 's' on 'motor' above. Anything 50' long will need a bunch of motorzzzzz.
 

RocketRob

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Ok soo since I was there I guess ill chime in!

8 motors in booster 4x N2000 4x O3400 and the 2nd stage had 2 x O3400

The booster did have a rough separation, I do know that all the fins came off and by one video looks like a lot more airframe fragments than just fins.

It was a nice flight but just way to large and to much impulse to fly at a NAR event so they had to fly it on the Army base.
 

Daddyisabar

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Looks like the booster cato'd into the flight?
I am hearing through the grapevine that there might have been some sort of metallic chaff dispersal as one of the payloads. Probably a secret experiment by the Kindergarten class to create a "window" to confuse enemy radars.:) You know kids these days! The ULA interns and their Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade payload specialists hold the largest sport rocket record and are now officially the undisputed TOP MEN in the sport of model rocketry.:)
 

Daddyisabar

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Official Video here:

[video=youtube;cI9b2laBxcc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI9b2laBxcc&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

Tanarin

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@Rocketbob and @Leo: From what I know, there were no actual CATOs during flight. What happened was one of the O3400 motors did not light right away on the 1st stage, combined with the rocket thrust pointing at the CG of the full rocket and not the booster stage, resulted in the stage experiencing stresses it was not designed to and thus, the fin flying off and the debris. They also noted that there was a 6 second delay from Stage separation to 2nd stage ignition. They were trying to use base drag for separation and the rocket did fire it's electronics at the planned T+9, but the motors did not actually light until T+15

As for how I know this, I have access to the post flight PDF itself. I have been asked not to post the entire PDF online thing until ULA posts it themselves, but I am free though to actually post some of the highlights. I will say though, once the PDF is posted, it is VERY detailed.
 

GregArend

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Greg Arend here from ULA. My first post on this forum. I had the privilege of leading the Future Heavy Project and got to work with many amazing kids. Comments above are pretty accurate. Booster did tumble after stage sep. Stage sep was via drag separation plus we had ram air scoops pressurizing the interstage compartment. So between pressure pushing and base drag pulling off the stage, there was enough sep force to cause separation even with a small amount of residual thrust in the booster. Video shows one of the 8 engines still had some thrust when sep occurred. That caused a booster tumble and all four fins came off. Booster still deployed 30 ft chute just fine and other than losing fins the airframe was not damaged at all. Upper stage engines were 6 seconds late in developing full thrust. That cost us about 1500 feet in apogee altitude and more than doubled our planned horizontal velocity at apogee. That high speed broke loose one of the drogue chutes. Fortunately we had 4 drogues, and the main chutes deployed and stayed attached without drama. All in all a great flight. Thanks to all who supported. Planning to refurb Future Heavy and fly it again next year. But we'll have to make it a little bigger because next summer's interns will want to break the record again. :) Below is a link to a nice edited video of the event.
[video=youtube;rb8_tkSU6T0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb8_tkSU6T0[/video] - Greg
 

dixontj93060

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Greg Arend here from ULA. My first post on this forum. I had the privilege of leading the Future Heavy Project and got to work with many amazing kids. Comments above are pretty accurate. Booster did tumble after stage sep. Stage sep was via drag separation plus we had ram air scoops pressurizing the interstage compartment. So between pressure pushing and base drag pulling off the stage, there was enough sep force to cause separation even with a small amount of residual thrust in the booster. Video shows one of the 8 engines still had some thrust when sep occurred. That caused a booster tumble and all four fins came off. Booster still deployed 30 ft chute just fine and other than losing fins the airframe was not damaged at all. Upper stage engines were 6 seconds late in developing full thrust. That cost us about 1500 feet in apogee altitude and more than doubled our planned horizontal velocity at apogee. That high speed broke loose one of the drogue chutes. Fortunately we had 4 drogues, and the main chutes deployed and stayed attached without drama. All in all a great flight. Thanks to all who supported. Planning to refurb Future Heavy and fly it again next year. But we'll have to make it a little bigger because next summer's interns will want to break the record again. :) Below is a link to a nice edited video of the event.
[video=youtube;rb8_tkSU6T0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb8_tkSU6T0[/video] - Greg
Thanks for the report and welcome to TRF!
 

rstaff3

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Greg Arend here from ULA. My first post on this forum. I had the privilege of leading the Future Heavy Project and got to work with many amazing kids. Comments above are pretty accurate. Booster did tumble after stage sep. Stage sep was via drag separation plus we had ram air scoops pressurizing the interstage compartment. So between pressure pushing and base drag pulling off the stage, there was enough sep force to cause separation even with a small amount of residual thrust in the booster. Video shows one of the 8 engines still had some thrust when sep occurred. That caused a booster tumble and all four fins came off. Booster still deployed 30 ft chute just fine and other than losing fins the airframe was not damaged at all. Upper stage engines were 6 seconds late in developing full thrust. That cost us about 1500 feet in apogee altitude and more than doubled our planned horizontal velocity at apogee. That high speed broke loose one of the drogue chutes. Fortunately we had 4 drogues, and the main chutes deployed and stayed attached without drama. All in all a great flight. Thanks to all who supported. Planning to refurb Future Heavy and fly it again next year. But we'll have to make it a little bigger because next summer's interns will want to break the record again. :) Below is a link to a nice edited video of the event.
[video=youtube;rb8_tkSU6T0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb8_tkSU6T0[/video] - Greg
Thanks for chiming in Greg. I, and I'm sure many others, would love to hear details about the development of next year's rocket. Assuming it is not top secret. You surely don't have anything more pressing than entertaining a bunk of rocket geeks, right. :)
 

SaturnV

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The rocket is good, even very good but why the hell not let Onboard video without your edits [deleted]? Apparently aims to impress rocket - literate audience but me it makes me very irritating!
 
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GregArend

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Thanks for chiming in Greg. I, and I'm sure many others, would love to hear details about the development of next year's rocket. Assuming it is not top secret. You surely don't have anything more pressing than entertaining a bunk of rocket geeks, right. :)
To re-launch Future Heavy next year, biggest task is to make 5-6 new fins. Four fins on booster shredded as they were not designed for 90 degree AoA at 400 mph. One more fin on upper stage destroyed on landing. A second fin on upper stage has minor landing damage and can maybe be repaired. Fins sound easy but these fins are not. See picture below. 60-80 hours of labor go in to make one fin. Fins are wet epoxy layup carbon fiber cloth over balsa core. Core is faired and fin has built-in gussets and flanges that allow them to bolt on/off. Aft end of fin is canted at 4 degrees to impart spin. So a lot of details in each fin. Fortunately I'll have about 70 interns show up next summer to work on them so I'll get a bunch of fins under construction in parallel. Some other minor repairs needed as well. Upper stage chutes came out back, so upper stage hit hard ground fwd end down, damaging about 1 foot of the carbon fiber solid laminate airframe. We'll cut that damaged section out and make and splice in a new airframe segment, a little longer than the piece we cut out.

Planning to launch again at Ft. Carson, assuming we can work around their operations schedule. Base is over 100,000 acres, and the Army controls the restricted airspace over the base, so that made it much easier FAA-wise than other sites we were pursuing. Army was great to work with, and they did not have any significant complaints about us after the event, but it is logistically challenging for them to accommodate us, so there are no guarantees we can launch again their next year. The Ft Carson leaders are big supporters of STEM education, and with 300 kids involved building rockets and payloads, there aren't many better STEM events, so I think they'll support us again if they can.

Refurbishing Future Heavy may not keep 70 interns busy all next summer, so I'm toying with the idea of starting construction of a 1/8th scale Vulcan rocket, in the neighborhood of 30 feet tall. Same 25" diameter as Future Heavy, so we could use same mandrel to lay up airframe sections. Could use the same launch platform/tower as well. May not be as big as Future Heavy, but would be very high fidelity, complete with thrusting/separating SRBs, etc. That, like Future heavy, would be a multi-year project, since we mainly just work in the summers when the interns are here.


050.jpg
 

Delta-IV

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To re-launch Future Heavy next year, biggest task is to make 5-6 new fins. Four fins on booster shredded as they were not designed for 90 degree AoA at 400 mph. One more fin on upper stage destroyed on landing. A second fin on upper stage has minor landing damage and can maybe be repaired. Fins sound easy but these fins are not. See picture below. 60-80 hours of labor go in to make one fin. Fins are wet epoxy layup carbon fiber cloth over balsa core. Core is faired and fin has built-in gussets and flanges that allow them to bolt on/off. Aft end of fin is canted at 4 degrees to impart spin. So a lot of details in each fin. Fortunately I'll have about 70 interns show up next summer to work on them so I'll get a bunch of fins under construction in parallel. Some other minor repairs needed as well. Upper stage chutes came out back, so upper stage hit hard ground fwd end down, damaging about 1 foot of the carbon fiber solid laminate airframe. We'll cut that damaged section out and make and splice in a new airframe segment, a little longer than the piece we cut out.

Planning to launch again at Ft. Carson, assuming we can work around their operations schedule. Base is over 100,000 acres, and the Army controls the restricted airspace over the base, so that made it much easier FAA-wise than other sites we were pursuing. Army was great to work with, and they did not have any significant complaints about us after the event, but it is logistically challenging for them to accommodate us, so there are no guarantees we can launch again their next year. The Ft Carson leaders are big supporters of STEM education, and with 300 kids involved building rockets and payloads, there aren't many better STEM events, so I think they'll support us again if they can.

Refurbishing Future Heavy may not keep 70 interns busy all next summer, so I'm toying with the idea of starting construction of a 1/8th scale Vulcan rocket, in the neighborhood of 30 feet tall. Same 25" diameter as Future Heavy, so we could use same mandrel to lay up airframe sections. Could use the same launch platform/tower as well. May not be as big as Future Heavy, but would be very high fidelity, complete with thrusting/separating SRBs, etc. That, like Future heavy, would be a multi-year project, since we mainly just work in the summers when the interns are here.


View attachment 298866
As the Cape ULA lead mentor I can attest to the complexity of building these fins. We built two of the fins. I assume at least one that we built got destroyed..oh well that's rocketry ;)


We here at the Cape over the last three years have been building smaller scale rockets. 2014 was a ~1/37th scale Delta IV Medium with 4 SRBs, 2015 was a ~1/37th scale Atlas V with a CST-100 capsule. This year (2016) we flew again an Atlas V ~1/25th scale with a Boeing provided CST-100 and service module which flew away at T+6 seconds on a simulated abort scenario.
 

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GregArend

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As the Cape ULA lead mentor I can attest to the complexity of building these fins. We built two of the fins. I assume at least one that we built got destroyed..oh well that's rocketry ;)


We here at the Cape over the last three years have been building smaller scale rockets. 2014 was a ~1/37th scale Delta IV Medium with 4 SRBs, 2015 was a ~1/37th scale Atlas V with a CST-100 capsule. This year (2016) we flew again an Atlas V ~1/25th scale with a Boeing provided CST-100 and service module which flew away at T+6 seconds on a simulated abort scenario.
Carl - Are you volunteering to make more fins?
 

Ted Cochran

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Way to go, Greg! The involvement of all the STEM education groups with their payloads is a terrific way to introduce them to aerospace engineering, and the spectacular launches seal the deal.
 

GregArend

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BTW - Here is what the fins look like now. In the left pic, upper piece - that is the fin root that bolted on to the airframe. We sliced the roots like bread (right pic) and gave them to the volunteers as souvenirs.
IMG_0210(1).jpgIMG_0214.jpg
 
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