Friday, March 1, 2024

First PH-developed high-power hybrid rocket launched

TALA, the first high-powered hybrid rocket developed in the Philippines, successfully lifted off at 11:57 AM on Saturday, May 20, from the Crow Valley Gunnery Range in Capas, Tarlac. 

It was able to deploy its Can Satellite payload before going into fast descent and eventual deployment of its main parachute for safe landing, according to a statement from the Philippine Space Agency.

The rocketry team of TALA has retrieved the rocket body and is now working on the collection and analysis of launch data to determine the rocket flight details.

TALA team preparing the rocket for second launch attempt in the early morning of Saturday, May 20. The first attempt on Friday, May 19, was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions
Photo from PhilSA

As a hybrid rocket, TALA used both solid fuel and liquid oxidizer, which makes handling, shipping, and storage much safer. The manufacturing cost is also lower, PhilSA said.

“The technology demonstration of a hybrid propelled rocket is seen to further stimulate space science and technology applications research in order to advance innovation and development of our own space assets for research, exploration, and commercial activities,” the local space agency said.

TALA and PhilSA teams take a photo with the retrieved rocket body
Photo from PhilSA

The launch WAS made possible through the partnership of PhilSA with the Philippine Air Force of the Colonel Ernesto Ravina Air Base, the 710th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Research and Development Center, Air Force Systems Engineering Office, 950th Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Wing, Air Force Public Affairs Office, and the 790th Air Base Groups.

TALA was developed in 2018 under the Young Innovators Program of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) by students and mentors from St. Cecilia’s College – Cebu.

It was supposed to be launched in March 2020 but had been postposed due to the pandemic. In 2022, TALA team and PhilSA began working together to refuel the launch of TALA.

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