In the beginning we have to figure out if our target is realistic.
Shouldn't that be the case we need to define a new one. Because the math behind waterrockets is quite complicated, we decided to build the pathfinder test-vehicle FAR (fixed airframe rocket).
As the name suggests, it is fixed to the ground, so not quite a rocket yet. But it is basically an early prototype of the planned Poseidon-Rocket, which is held down by load cells.
This enables us to measure the thrust curve and change in mass over time. With that data we should be able to build a mathematic model and decide whether our goals are feasible or not.
The next logical step after that is the devolpment of a vehicle which verifies our general design of the Poseidon rocket while still being mounted to the ground.
For that purpose we will build the Gimbaled Airframe Poseidon (GAP).
In contrast to FAR, GAP is mounted in a gimbal suspension and will be able to rotate freely around three axes.
We will use this pathfinder vehicle to test our TVC-Mount (Thrust Vectoring Control) and the stability-software which should keep the rocket upright.
We decided to implement this additional phase into the timeline to mature our hard- and software before our first flight attempt.
With the knowledge from FAR and GAP we will develop the Poseidon rocket.
It will feature one thing that GAP lacked: A recovery system. This will be a parachute which serves as an abort throughout the flight as well.
After some ground test of the rocket with focus on the brandnew systems like recovery, Poseidon will be ready for the first flight.
We don't expect the first flight to be a successful one, but we hope that we won't break too much hardware, because we tested the key systems early and intensive.
We don't want to talk about our future plans too much right now, because the way to the first successful flight of Poseidon will be a long and bumpy one. Just one thing to think about: The valve which controls if water exits the rocket or not can be opened and closed during the flight multiple times. This could enable us to perform multiple burns. Random examples for that are a deceleration-burn or a landing burn. But of course these were chosen totally arbitrarily!