Video Caption: On June 24, 2017, interns and mentors from United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the 53-foot-tall Future Heavy, breaking their own record for launching the world’s largest sport rocket. The rocket carried 16 payloads (experiments and instruments) from K-12 teams, Ball Aerospace mentors and a combined ULA/Roush Industries team. Working on their own time, ULA interns designed, built and launched the rockets with the guidance of mentors, and Ball Aerospace mentors volunteered their time to create and test their payload. The rocket launched at the Spaceport America Cup International Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in association with the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA).
The second term of 2016-17 academic year has started and CPSS has some good progress to show. We are well on track for #ESRA 2017 Spaceport America Cup in June.
Avionics team has developed recovery board, manufactured hardware for the active guidance system, and well on the way to perform flight test in next 7 weeks.
Recovery team has completed separator device, which is going to be flight tested with Avionics. They are also about to finish design of the parachute, materials for which will be purchased in upcoming week.
Ground Support has completed new design for the system, as well as purchased required components. GS-Rocket interface has been redesigned as well, implementation of new quick disconnects is under way.
System Integration team has been focused on developing a new technique for manufacturing and attaching the fins that will not interfere with the integration of the propulsion system. New design employs honeycomb composite structure. The manufacturing of test fins took place over last weekend. The fins were tested last Friday (January 20th) for strength to assist the Recovery Team in determining parachute size an allowable impact velocity. A similar honeycomb design will be used for the bulkhead to support the loads from the parachute, and the centering rings for the N2 tank and parachute tubes.
Propulsion team has manufactured all major components of HM-7 Heavy over Christmas Break. Nitrous tank and combustion chamber are ready for hydrostatic test. Nozzle and injector are ready for test fire. All active plumbing components have been purchased and have arrived. Rest of the plumbing has been purchased as well. With a major setback of the timeline due to issues with hydrostatic test procedures approval, team has to delay short duration test fire by time unknown at the moment. Even with the setback, propulsion is still on track for launch in June.
CPSS is looking forward to upcoming testing. We have done a lot of manufacturing in past three month and we are looking forward to test every component of the system in next 12 weeks.
Video Caption: It IS rocket science – in high school
It started with an unfinished college project in an engineer’s garage. It became the focus of a group of students at Tesla STEM High School and their mentors. What began as an after-school internship program with Aerojet Rocketdyne became an audacious attempt to become the first team ever to launch a liquid fuel propelled rocket at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). Along the way they became the first high school team ever accepted into this college and graduate level competition – in the advanced category. The Lawn Dart Saga follows the team as these high schoolers do learn rocket science and much more.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, the company that produced the RS-25 (SSME) that powered the space shuttle, has been taking a slightly smaller step, in the form of their own engineers mentoring students whom plan to compete in this years Experimental Sounding Rocket Association Intercollegiate competition. The compeition requires student teams to launch their own rocket (any propulsion source) with a 10lb payload to specific altitudes between 10,000 to 23,000ft. The students have been carrying out testing of a liquid oxygen/ethanol rocket engine.
“Engineers at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Redmond, Washington, have been mentoring Nikola Tesla STEM High School students as they prepare to participate in the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ERSA) Intercollegiate Competition in June 2016. On Jan. 31, students and mentors conducted the second hot-fire test series for their liquid oxygen/ethanol rocket engine, which will power their rocket at the ERSA competition. The Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation is a proud sponsor of the Tesla team.”