On November 14, Osvaldo and I had the chance to meet Robert Kleinberger of Apogee Aeronautics. Robert runs a small engineering company specializing in sounding rockets. We had a chance to see one of the SuperLoki launcher systems that he had assembled and mounted on a trailer system in Orange County.
The SuperLoki is a sounding rocket design that was started in the late 1960’s and were used in the US and other western countries up until the supply was exhausted in the 1990’s.
In short, this two-stage rocket system consists of a first-stage solid propellant booster with an instrumented “dart” that coasts up to high altitudes, typically to make upper atmospheric weather measurements. The four-fin booster and four-fin dart are rail-guided to impart a controlled spin for stabilization.
Astronautix.com has specific details on the SuperLoki launch vehicle
Astronautix.com – SuperLoki
Wikipedia has a fuller article on the subject of the Loki series of rockets including the Super Loki.
Loki rocket – Wikipedia
Robert was assembling one of his SuperLoki rail launchers for a client, but ultimately, the launch trailer will reside at the Chico Air Museum in Chico north of Sacramento, California. The launcher will be there on display to the public. Although the SuperLoki launch trailer is not yet at the museum, I have put a weblink to the museum’s page.
Although he may not make his presentation personally, Robert has put together a series of notes for our upcoming monthly RRS meeting. We’re looking forward to January 13th. Hope to see everyone there.