Worlds Largest Sugar Rocket Motor – Test 2

Video Caption: This was the 2nd test firing of the 12 x 44″ KNSB static test fire motor for the Sugar Shot to Space project. The first firing was using two 12 x 20″ propellant grains each weighing 132 pounds for a total propellant weight of 264 pounds. This test was using three 12 X 13″ propellant grains, each containing 85 pounds of KNSB sugar propellant.


Fathom II Full Release 144,000 ft

A nice overview video of USCRPL’s Fathom II launch from back in March showcasing prep, launch/flight, and recovery. The team set a record for student built rockets.

Video Caption: On March 3rd, 2017, University of Southern California Rocket Propulsion Lab launched Fathom II, a sub-scale model of its space-shot vehicle in Spaceport America, New Mexico. Fathom II reached 144,00 ft at apogee, taking the record for highest student rocket by almost 50,000 feet.

MIT Rocket Team Test 100% 3D Printed Solid Rocket Motor

In what is possibly a first, the MIT Rocket team have successfully tested a fully 3D printed solid rocket motor. The motor which included everything bar the propellant was printed from Nylon.

Be interesting to know the cost, let’s say vs a hobby motor of the equivalent size.

Check out the video below and read the full write-up here.

Video Caption: Using Markforged Onyx Nylon a 2 piece, completely 3D printed rocket motor was fired for the first time by MIT Rocket Team on April 21.

Without the generous support of Markforged this project would not have been possible.

Team Icarus SRM Test

Team Icarus, a team under the SDSU Rocket Project, recently tested their in-house designed and built solid rocket motor. The motor is intended to launch a boosted dart to 100,000ft.

This particular motor was a 4″ dia (101.2mm) composite case, burning an APCP propellant blend, producing a chamber pressure of 760psi. The burn time was 5sec.

You can follow Team Icarus on Facebook to stay up to date on this project.

Worlds Largest Sugar Rocket Motor Test

12″ diameter (304.8mm), 2 Bates grains, 260lbs (117kg) of propellant!

Be interesting to know the thrust and chamber pressures achieved in this test, they seem to have figured out any grain cracking issues that could arise and over pressurize the motor, looking forward to seeing more tests of this size in the future!

Video Caption: 2 grains 12×20
260 pounds of propellant
Motor by Rick Maschek and Eric Beckner

World’s Largest Sugar Propellant Grains and 3rd Flight of the Phoenix Rocket

Video Caption: Casting the second 12″ x 20″ (300mm x 500mm) sugar propellant grain at the FAR site. Each grain will have a 3″ (75mm) core and approximately 130 pounds (55 kg) of propellant with an expected motor burn time of 16.7 seconds. The Phoenix launch was a small 100mm 2-grain sugar motor with 1″ (25mm) cores used for inexpensively flight testing propellant, electronics and other components. Each Phoenix flight cost three dollars…what a bargain!

Team Ursa

I was recently made aware of Team Ursa, who are building some very cool rockets and hardware and have been doing so for a few years now.

Ursa 2.1 launch operations (Credit: Team Ursa)
Ursa 2.1 launch operations (Credit: Team Ursa)

Team Ursa’s mission as stated on their website,

Team Ursa and its partner, Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, find space exploration to be a potent motivator for students and adults alike. By using the sub-orbital aerospace platform, Team Ursa works with Mavericks to inspire students and communities to invest in STEM through the development of open-source reference designs. These reference designs are intended for the educational and research community’s use to further younger generations’ involvement in STEM, and aid in making sub-orbital space a more accessible laboratory for students.

The team started out as 6 University of Maine senior capstone students who got together to build their first rocket, Ursa 1.0. Ursa 1.0 was a 2 stage solid propelled rocket designed to achieve 100,000ft in altitude, as shown below.

Ursa 1.0 (Credit: Team Ursa)

Continue reading “Team Ursa”