Saturday, April 09, 2011

Space Access '11: Masten Space Systems - Dave Masten

In the past year, Masten Space has been building their team, focusing more on the business side, but still making substantial technology achievements.  They have 4 new engineers, and 3 new business people.

On the technology side, they did the first VTVL relight, worked on the CRuSR conract, won a plume impingement SBIR where they can use Mars or lunar simulant to study landers and effects on regolith, worked on thei Scimitar engine, and flew Xaero which is capable of 30 km flight.  On the business side, since they are working on contracts, they have a strong customer focus.  They also got a Letter of Intent with Space Florida.

Dave gave some technical details on the Scimitar engine.

For CRuSR, they plan a 5 km flight in the 2nd quarter of 2011.

Their 2011 technology focus is on a rigid control system, getting Xaero to 30 km, put Scimitar on the vehicle, do Katana engine tests (Katana is a new engine), Xogdar build out, and customer projects.

They plan to continue developing their customer focus, increase sales and growth, make their back office smooth, and expand their investors.

Q: Why Florida?

A: There is an experienced work force that will be available with Shuttle retirement.  Also, there are problems with places where they can fly.  Mojave is just for research and development flights.  Spaceport America in New Mexico has difficult scheduling problems with White Sands Missile Range.  Florida is the most airspace-friendly.  Also, Florida is giving business incentives.

Q: What's the timeline for the 30 km flight, and is there a backup plan in case of a crash?

A: Ideally they would have the flight by September for the end of the fiscal year.  If there was a crash, they could rebuild with spare parts.