The upgrade for the Maxus 9 microgravity research mission reflects the current state of technology available for this type of system, and will bring it to 4th generation status, with all its associated performance benefits.
The upgraded system is significantly smaller and lighter than the old one, thanks to its new inertial navigation sensor and the much more efficient battery technology employed. The new battery pack is environmentally friendly and its size is only one fourth of the old pack.
The small size also has made it possible to integrate the RUAG system as well as the Telemetry & Telecommand equipment on one single payload deck instead of two. This makes the Maxus 9 payload both shorter and lighter, leaving room for additional science equipment. The new system will be delivered late 2014.
Sounding Rockets are used to carry scientific experiments to the edge of space before falling back to Earth. The Maxus Rocket is able to launch a gross payload of typically 800 kg to an altitude of more than 700 km. This corresponds to some 13 minutes of microgravity conditions. The Maxus 9 Mission will carry a set of experiments from material sciences.
Photo: Launch of a Maxus Sounding Rocket from Kiruna, Sweden (Credits: DLR)