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Maxus
Part of Castor 4A Family
Maxus
Maxus
The MAXUS microgravity program was a collaboration between Sweden and Germany. The single-stage vehicle developed for the program used a Castor 4B motor, the largest fired from Western Europe.

Status: Active. First Launch: 1991-05-08. Last Launch: 2017-04-07. Number: 10 . Payload: 720 kg (1,580 lb). Thrust: 450.00 kN (101,160 lbf). Gross mass: 12,300 kg (27,100 lb). Height: 15.50 m (50.80 ft). Diameter: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Apogee: 850 km (520 mi).

This allowed the experiments lofted to experience 12 minutes and 40 seconds of microgravity. The recoverable and reusable 720 kg payload module could accommodate six to eight separate experiments.

Payload: 720 kg (1,580 lb) to a 850 km altitude.



Country: Germany. Launch Sites: Kiruna. Stages: Castor 4B engine. Agency: SSC, MBB. Bibliography: 2, 572.

1991 May 8 - . 03:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus. FAILURE: Failed..
  • Microgravity mission - . Nation: Sweden. Agency: SSC. Apogee: 157 km (97 mi).

    Microgravity experiments. Recovered, although it reached only a fraction of the planned altitude. The MAXUS sounding rocket program began in 1989 and the first launch took place in 1991.The program was a joint venture between the Swedish Space Corporation and the German space company EADS-ST. The Maxus program was financed by ESA. The scientific objective was to perform experiments during 12-13 minutes of microgravity (10-4 g) using a single stage sounding rocket motor. The motor, a Castor 4B, had a maximum acceleration of 13 g, a top speed of 3500 m/sec and reached an apogee of around 750 km depending on the payload mass.


1992 November 8 - . 10:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR, SSC. Apogee: 717 km (445 mi). Microgravity experiments. Relaunch of the Maxu 1 mission..

1995 November 28 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR, SSC. Apogee: 705 km (438 mi).

1998 November 24 - . 09:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Biological/Physics mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA, SSC. Apogee: 713 km (443 mi).

2001 April 29 - . 11:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Microgravity mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA, SSC. Apogee: 705 km (438 mi).

2003 April 1 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Maxus 5 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA, SSC. Apogee: 701 km (435 mi). Suborbital microgravity payload. Launch delayed from 31 March..

2004 November 22 - . 08:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Microgravity mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA, SSC. Apogee: 706 km (438 mi).

2006 May 2 - . 06:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • Maxus 7 - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA, SSC. Apogee: 702 km (436 mi).

    Suborbital microgravity mission. Kaiser-Threde developed a new payload service system for MAXUS 7, providing 2 independent TV-links with 2 high power HF transmitters and GPS. The recovery system was a BAL ORSA system, modified by Kaiser-Threde, including parachute from DLR.


2010 March 26 - . 13:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • SSC MAXUS 8 - . Nation: Sweden. Apogee: 700 km (430 mi). Microgravity payload.

2017 April 7 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Castor 4A. Launch Vehicle: Maxus.
  • MAXUS 9 - . Nation: Sweden. Type: Microgravity. Apogee: 678 km (421 mi). Microgravity mission. Impacted in ESRANGE B zone..


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