The third series of flight experiment of RVT (reusable flight test vehicle) were started Oct. 14, and successfully ended Oct. 31 at Noshiro Testing Center, Akita Pref. The experiments was preceded by the second series of flight experiment in 2001, and an engine test in March this year.

The experiment this time consisted of a static firing test and three times of successful experimental flights, and could provide a verification as well as valuable data for

  1. cryogenic tanks of light weight composite materials,
  2. propulsion system with better endurance, and
  3. system construction scheme for repeated flights and its turnaround.

The vehicle was propelled by a LAX/LH2 small rocket engine with the dry weight of approx. 500 kg, and was 3.5 m tall. The flight experiment featured to lift off, soar up vertically to 10 m, 30 m, 42 m for respective flights, and land vertically.

For the next target study, an exo-atmospheric ballistic flight vehicle based on the present concept is also proposed as an extension of this experimantal vehicle. It will be devoted to a new type of sounding rocket which could be used repeatedly.