Since parting way with Copenhagen Suborbitals in 2014, Peter Madsen has still been pursuing his dream of flying into space, step in Raketmadsens Rumlaboratorium, roughly translated, ‘Rocket Madsen Laboratorium’ or also known as ‘Rocket Madsen Space Lab’, this is Peter’s new space and rocket endeavour.
Peter with the help of his supporters have been working on Galcit solid rocket motor technology, these types of solid rocket motors stem back to the 1940-50s and use potassium perchlorate, asphalt and oil as the main additives, where an ISP of up to 180 can be obtained . This propellant proves to be a lot more user-friendly than common solid rocket motor mixes as found on Vega or the Space shuttle.
It is from this that Peter is hoping to use this technology on a manned flight and has been taking steps forward to make this happen, step in a composite cased solid rocket motor.
A lighter and strong case like this helps to improve the overall performance of the motor, an additive can also be added to the propellant, such as aluminium to increase the performance in the hope of yielding a higher ISP, this aluminium additive is common with current solid rocket motors already out there as mentioned above. Unfortunately, it does not work so well with Galcit as Peter found out, causing the propellant to debond from the case, this, if the motor was lit would result in almost certainly a CATO (catastrophe at takeoff) event.
The test of these motors was due to happen on September 13th, but with some of the motors experiencing debonding, those will not be fired. As of writing I am unsure if the test day will still go ahead to test the ones that did not have the aluminium mix.
Beside this slight setback, I know for a fact that Peter will continue on to achieving his goal of a manned suborbital space flight, having met and worked with Peter a few years ago, his enthusiasm he conveys to you about space and rocketry is something quite magical, he pulls you in and makes you believe anything is possible, anything and everything is possible.
I hope to post more about this project as it happens.
You can read more about Galcit propellant here.