Troposphere (rocket family)

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Troposphere is a Congolese rocket family first established in 2007 at private enterprise Développement Tous Azimuts (DTA). Project is managed by Jean-Patrice Keka Ohemba Okese, head of DTA, a graduate of the Institut Supérieur des Techniques Appliquées (ISTA). The program aimed at launching experimental rockets that would not exceed an altitude of 36 km.[1] The launch site is located in an area owned by DTA at Menkao, 120 km East of Kinshasa.[2]

The program was financed by DTA at the beginning, but after success of the Troposphere 2 and 4 rockets project gained government support.

Rockets[edit]

Troposphere 1 and 3[edit]

Troposphere 1, which was planned for launch in April 2007, was canceled due to technical problems. Troposphere 3 scheduled for October 12, 2007 was also a failure.

Troposphere 2[edit]

The first successful rocket, Troposphere 2 (30.94 kg and 0.19 m in diameter), launched in 2007 and reached an altitude of 1500 m (1.5 km).

Troposphere 4[edit]

Troposphere 4
Manufacturer Développement Tous Azimuts (DTA), SPRL
Country of origin Democratic Republic of Congo
Size
Diameter 16 cm
Mass 200 kg
Launch history
Status Experimental
Launch sites 1
Total launches 1
Successes 1
Failures 0
Partial failures 0
First flight July 10, 2008

Troposphere 4 is the second successfully launched experimental rocket of the Troposphere program, managed by Jean-Patrice Keka.

The rocket with a thrust of 1 ton was launched on July 10, 2008, 5:40 pm[3] at Menkao, located 120 km East of downtown Kinshasa. The rocket reached an altitude of 15 km after 47 seconds, with a speed of Mach 2.7.[4]

The launch of the Troposphere 4 rocket took place in the presence of the Congolese Minister of Higher Education, University and Scientific Research, Leonard Masuga Rugamika.[5] After the success of this launch, the Congolese government decided to get involved with the Troposphere project.[3]

Troposphere 5[edit]

Troposphere 5
Manufacturer Développement Tous Azimuts (DTA), SPRL
Country of origin Democratic Republic of Congo
Size
Height 5 m
Mass 750 kg
Stages 2
Launch history
Status Experimental
Launch sites 1
Total launches 1
Successes 0
Failures 1
Partial failures 0
First flight 29 March 2009

Troposphere 5 is a two stage solid-propellant rocket with a thrust of 70 kN (7 tons), launched on March 29, 2009. It is the third rocket in the program. It was an initiative of the private enterprise Developpement Tous Azimuts (DTA) with headquarters in Lubumbashi (Katanga Province), created in 2007.

Troposphere 5 carrying a rat named Kavira on board, was designed to reach an altitude of 36 km and a speed of Mach 3.[1] The rocket was launched at Menkao launch site.[6] Launch ended in failure - the rocket took off but had deviated from its course and was lost in the distance.[2] The cost of this rocket has been estimated at about $50,000. Despite Troposphere 5 being equipped with an escape chute, Kavira was never found and was officially reported to have died in the name of science. According to Keka the experiment provided valuable data for future tests by the DTA.[7]

Troposphere 6[edit]

DTA is currently working on the next rocket, Troposphere 6.[8] Troposphere 6 is a three-stage solid-propellant rocket and Keka claimed that the rocket could reached up to altitude of 200 km. Troposphere 6 was scheduled to be launched in the end of 2016.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Crutchfield, Ryan (2010-12-20). "A Brief History of The Congolese Space Program". Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  2. ^ a b Lindsey, Clark S. (2009-08-18). "Rocket project in Congo". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  3. ^ a b Crutchfield, Ryan (2010-12-20). "A Brief History of The Congolese Space Program". Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  4. ^ "Congo, aventure spatiale : De Troposphère 2 à Troposphère 5" (in French). 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Congo: Destination Moon" (in French). 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Lancement réussi de la fusée " Troposphère V " de la société congolaise DTA". mediacongo.net (in French). 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  7. ^ http://dta-congo.blogspot.be/
  8. ^ Phiri, Caleb (2009-04-12). "Congo Sends a Rocket into Space". Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  9. ^ Rédaction, La. "Recherche aérospatiale La Rdc lance la fusée « Troposphère 6 » en fin 2016 | Groupe de Presse l'Avenir". groupelavenir.org. Retrieved 2016-06-30.