Xaero: 444 for the 4th!

Happy Independence Day from Masten headquarters! It’s been a while since we released a video but trust us, we’ve been busy! In addition to multiple client projects and bending metal in the shop on yet-to-be-unveiled rocket hardware, we’ve been spending a significant amount of time on Xaero, culminating in a flight to 444 meters AGL today. More after the video:

Now you might notice a couple of things since the last time you saw a YouTube video. Of note:

  • The landing gear are different. We removed the deployable gear – they looked cool, but they were too complex and took too long to replace for the flight rate we’d like to achieve. In addition to actually improving vehicle stability, the new fixed gear saved us around 15 lbs, which is always nice. If we break something, it’s a quick replacement, facilitating a quicker turn time between flights.
  • It’s been a while since we uploaded a video. While partially due to us not uploading every flight (you’d get bored of tether tests after minor modifications), we spent a major portion of time solving some challenges with the guidance and control. We wrote and tweaked quite a lot to get Xaero flying to our satisfaction.

Fortunately the combination of all these things mean we’re flying higher and faster! 444 meters AGL is the highest any Masten rocket has flown and we have plans to continue to expand the envelope in the near future.

Keep your browsers pointed at our blog and your eyes turned skyward! We’ll be back soon.