Launch T – 5 Days

Today was the first dress rehearsal at the launch site, El Arensillo! This a major milestone before the launch next Friday. The primary purpose of the dress rehearsal is to review procedures and find any problems in advance so that they can be solved before the actual launch attempt. While we have practiced these procedures multiple times in Delft it is important that the crew becomes familiar with the working in the environment that they will have to work in during the launch itself.

The team transporting Stratos III to the launch pad.

Over the course of the day we carried out a complete mock launch, we followed the assembly, transport, tower integration and launch procedures in exactly the same way as we will during the launch itself with the exception of safety critical operations such as filling the tank with oxidiser and arming the FTS. We also checked the live stream to make sure that any technical issues can be ironed out before Friday

In addition to the dress rehearsal we are also working on simulations to check that the rocket will remain within the safe area throughout the flight. We have just started the largest single batch of simulations in DARE history. 111000 cases will be run. That is more than 20% of all the cases that were run before the Stratos II+ launch. These simulations help us determine go no-go criteria.

Tomorrow we will perform the second dress rehearsal in Spain, this time together with INTA. This will make it resemble a real launch even more. Make sure to read our blog post tomorrow to learn all about the big day and to watch how our team loads the rocket onto the 16-meter-long tower!

by Noah Suard