The sounding rocket, built by Airbus Defence and Space, was launched on 27 November 2011 at 09:10 hours GMT.
The TEXUS 48 sounding rocket, built by Airbus Defence and Space, was successfully launched from the Esrange Space Centre near Kiruna in Sweden on Sunday 27 November 2011 at 09:10 hours GMT.
The main purpose of this 48th TEXUS microgravity research mission, dubbed “CRYSTAL” (Cryogenic Stage Technology Advanced Laboratory), was to test new, improved propellant-management technologies for the upper stage of launch vehicles. To do this two of the experiment modules carried a supply of liquid nitrogen for use as a test fluid, which had to be injected into tanks prior to lift-off. The payload also included a third scientific experiment to study the orientation ability of fish larvae under microgravity conditions.
The rocket reached a maximum altitude of 263 kilometres during its approximately thirteen-minute flight, providing around six minutes of microgravity.
|Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for the TEXUS programme, which is jointly financed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Andreas Schütte, Airbus Defence and Space’s TEXUS project manager: “All systems aboard the TEXUS 48 sounding rocket functioned perfectly and all three experiments were executed as planned, without a hitch. The payload was recovered intact after a soft landing. Initial analysis of the data confirms that the mission’s objectives have been entirely met."|
TEXUS 48 was launched from the Esrange Space Center near Kiruna (Sweden). (© DLR, Thilo Kranz)
Successful launch of TEXUS 48 (© DLR, Thilo Kranz)
Engineer at work on one of the experiment modules (© DLR)