Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

When I started out with this blog/news I did not really know what exactly what I was going to talk about and how to convey it. The original idea had come up in conversation with a fellow KiwiSpace member as more of an overview of what amateur rocket projects are happening around the world at the moment. Already having an interest I soon found myself deciding that there needed to be a site where all the news of these projects could be found, similar to the mainstream space news sites, but for amateurs.

9 months on and well over a dozen projects regularly covered, Mach 5 Low-down is now starting to find its feet, with regular visitor numbers and word getting out there amongst projects.

A few stats,
Over 85 posts published
Over 900 unique visitors amounting to  3500+ views
Monday at 8pm being the most popular day for visits.

Throughout this year, I thought I would share my highlights and what to look out for next year.

DARE launch of Stratos II+ is at the top of my list, having followed this project for a while it was gut wrenching that the team did not achieve flight last year, but to come back from that with all the lessons learnt and have a successful flight this year was great to follow and watch. Re-live the launch below.

As much of a highlight as a fabulous find was Brian Douglas’s control system lectures on youtube. Brian’s grasp on the subject is amazing and his ability to describe and teach you is something, I am very mechanically minded but found his lectures so simple to understand, it actually has me very interested in the subject now. Brian has lots of video’s on his youtube channel but the one I like and covered was how to land on a planet, much harder than you think when you do not have a GPS constellation above you to guide you to a pinpoint landing. Make sure to check out Brian’s channel but watch his video again.

2016 promises to be a rocket filled year, BURPG are testing their new Lotus engine and will finally launch their Starscraper rocket to space in July. SDSU are building a bigger and more capable rocket, powered by an old Atlas ICBM vernier engine, LR101, these students will be one to watch. Copenhagen Suborbitals will get to launch their Nexo rockets in the European summer after missing the launch window this year and Peter Madsen from RML Spacelab will fly their sounding rocket from the coast of Malta.
And of course RocketLab will fly their Electron rocket, launching from my own home country, NZ (I had to squeeze this mention in!).

These are only a handful of projects to look out for, I am always interested in hearing and writing about more (I know there are a lot more out there), rocket, CubeSat, theory related, I am open to everything and anything that is not quite caught mainstream and is of an amateur/experimental/student origin. Drop me a line on the about page.

Buran Shuttle (Credit: Iain Finer)
Buran Shuttle (Credit: Iain Finer)

I would like to thank everyone who has visited and helped bring Mach 5 Low-Down to what it is today, next year will be an exciting time for all.
Merry xmas and happy holidays.

Iain

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