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GALLERY

Echo begins its landing burn. Ignition timing is decided and executed by the Signal flight computer, based on real time velocity, orientation, and altitude data

The Echo landing vehicle

A development version of Signal, running a propulsive landing variant of the Signal flight software

Electron soars past the moon at dusk

The base of the Electron rocket, next to the Impulse launch pad computer

Signal R2 flight computers during production

A model of the Rocket Lab Electron, built as part of the "Build Signal R2" video series

Packing up Signal R2 thrust vectoring kits for shipment

24 sets of thrust vectoring servos after passing quality control

Signal R2 by the OG2 Falcon 9 rocket booster in Hawthorne, CA

Right around center core ignition

The center core of the Falcon heavy drifts back down

Ascent

Staging

Slightly early chute deployment on the side boosters

Liftoff of the Falcon Heavy boosters

Pre-production versions of the Signal R2 flight computer. Each production round, several PCB colors are ordered just for fun!

Myself, the Falcon Heavy model, and Tim Dodd, The Everyday Astronaut

Echo lifts of at the NAR's National Sport Launch in Geneseo, NY

Falcon Heavy test fit on the new unpainted launch pad

Early on in the build of the 3 core launch pad, specifically built to accommodate either 1 or 3 core launch vehicles

Upper stage of the Falcon Heavy - essentially the minimum viable airframe for the Signal R2 kit

Flight test of the experimental "G8ST" by Aerotech. An 8 Newton burn for 17.7 seconds

Rising through the grass

The beginning of the user-error test for Signal R2

The Signal R2 flight computer passes the user-error test. The vehicle rights itself within moments of liftoff, even with a misaligned vectoring mount

Front side of the development version of the Signal R2 flight computer

First flight of the Signal R2 computer, using the Falcon Heavy center core as a test bed

Back side of Signal R2 Dev

Thrust vectoring mounts coming down the production line

Omega launches at an angle

Deploying the paratrooper payload and re-orienting to upright

Omega pressurizes its piston ejection system to deploy parachutes

T-0 on the pad

Scout C3 tests Signal's course correction feature, plotting and executing an aggressive orientation change mid-flight

Scout C2 overcorrects due to a miscalculated "D" value in Signal's stability PID controller

An active canard capable version of the Signal flight computer

Scout C1 lifts of at dusk

Scout C1 gimbals it's main booster to remain on course

Echo B1 on the way down

Echo B1 rises at dawn, late summer 2017

A successful static fire test of Scout in June, 2017 

Piston-based parachute ejection test featuring an experiment grid/straight fin design

The first BPS PCBs ever made(and the first I've ever designed). Vector Avionics was a very early prototype of the Signal Avionics system

Relay F2 going up

Relay F2 coming down

Relay F2 waits on the pad, next to the preflight and launch checklist binder

During a snowstorm, an experimental dual engine TVC design is tested

Fire pours out the bottom of Relay F1 during a ground test

Echo TV7 waits on the pad before launch

Good shot of the "flight engage" cable. Roughly 0.5 seconds before ignition, the connection between this cable and the rocket is severed

Vehicle startup key inserted in Echo TV6

Echo TV7 coming down on 3 out of 4 chutes - one failed to open due to low descent speed

Aerial coverage drone just before lifting off to begin an automated flight pattern

Running through pre-launch checks for Echo TV5

Echo TV4 against a dark sky

Liftoff of Echo TV3

Liftoff of Echo TV2

Echo TV1, partially labelled a few days before its first flight

Echo TV5 waiting on the pad

A cute dog walking by during rocket prep for Echo TV5

Echo TV2 going straight up

Echo TV1 just after main propellant loading

Scout V 0.9 waits on the pad before launch

Running a quick drag fin check on Scout V 1.0 at the launch site

Liftoff of Scout V 0.8

Scout V 0.8 in an early stage of the building process 

Cutting down airframe screws to save mass. Every gram counts

An older design of the thrust vectoring mount and skirt at the bottom of the rocket

Making airframe modifications to Scout V0.8

Scout V 1.0, just about ready for flight

Scout V 0.8 during loading of the flight software

The old gutted Fetch flight computer used for Scouts V 0.4 - 0.7 next to the smaller Fetch flight computer used in Scouts V 0.8 - V 1.0

Scout V 0.7 hides under a mylar blanket while waiting for the rain to stop

An early concept of the new thrust vectoring mount 

Building the internal cabling for the Fetch flight computer

The old ignitors on top used unsuccessfully for both attempts to launch Scout V 0.6, vs the more powerful bottom ignitors used for Scout V 0.7

A damaged Scout V 0.5 lies on the launch pad after flight

Scout V 0.4 after "landing"

Scout V 0.4 on the way down, gimbaling hard to try and stay upright

Remaining cheerful just before Scout V0.4's launch in January, 2016. Don't think I slept the night before

Performing standard landing gear checks before launch

The modified flight computer used for Scout V 0.6 and 0.7

Scout V 0.4  and 0.5's flight computer all wired up!

In the process of designing Scout V 0.4

Printing the launch/landing leg mont for Scout V 0.4

During construction of the upgraded articulating launch pad

Overhead view of the original landing leg design

The "first stage" of Scout V 0.4. Technically stages 1 and 2 if you count retro-propulsion as a stage

Scout V 0.4 before paint and labeling

Building the first drag fin assembly of the Scout program

CAD screenshot of the thrust vectoring system used for Scout V 0.2 - 0.7

Scout V 0.1 sits on the pad after its first launch

The control system used in Scout V 0.2 and 0.3

Scout V 0.1's damaged control system after flight

An early concept build of Scout V 0.1's thrust vectoring system

Painting the launchpad

A heat absorption test article and main booster for Scout V 0.1. An early construction of the Fetch flight computer can be seen in the top left.