Launch, Anybody?

As you may or may not know, recently our USLI team decided to scrap our old design for the vehicle and start from the ground up. We are modifying a Wildman kit to accommodate our three parachutes (one drogue, one main, and the parachute for the controlled descent pod). The rocket is completely made out of fiberglass, and is quite heavy. The fins alone weigh over 300 grams! However, a large K motor should *cough* carry it to 5280 feet. I have my doubts, but if worse came to worst, we can just stick an L motor in it and call it good. The rocket supports a 75mm diameter motor, and I believe we have a couple casings lying around in the I. Triple S. office.

So we are scrambling to put this rocket together, because the deadline for our test flight is fast approaching. As in, this Saturday. While I have no doubts about whether or not it will be able to fly by then, I am questioning its ability to perform. But hey, that's what this practice flight is for! To see what needs work.

Thankfully the engineering payload does not need to be completed for the practice flight, because we are still playing around with programming the micro-controller unit to make LED's flash on and off. We're a long way from GPS and altitude telemetry, radio control, servo connections, etc.

Here are some pictures of our progress:

All the parts for the Wildman launch vehicle laid out.

Centering rings being epoxied to the motor mount.

All the external body tubes laid end to end.

The workstation for programming the MCU.

The MCU plugged into the PIC programmer.

Yay! All that programming for *blink...blink...blink...* 

One of our members has a chameleon. Surprisingly docile. Doesn't mind being perched on someone's shoulder whilst person is grinding away at a piece of body tube with a Dremel.


cj said...

Hey man, it's cj from meeknotweak, it's been a while since I've been in the blogoshpere, I kinda just stopped blogging and never looked back. But, I'm thinking about getting back into it. Anyway, the real reason I'm posting this is to talk to you about rocket science and NASA. Obviously you're into rockets, but have you heard about something called "HAS aerospace scholars?" It's a NASA program for high school juniors in which I am currently participating. Now, I have no idea if you have completed high school yet, but if you haven't, then you should really look this program up. If you're interested send me a message. ttyl


DTH Rocket said...

Hey! So you didn't die after all!

I have not specifically heard of HAS aerospace scholars, but I know NASA has a lot of programs like this. When I was in high school (I'm a freshman in college now) I was in Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), where we launched an egg in a rocket without breaking it... oodles of fun. Now, in college, I found a group participating in NASA's University Student Launch Initiative, which is similar to TARC only much bigger. Our rocket weighs 12 lbs, is about 8 feet in length, and will hopefully reach an altitude of exactly one mile. The goal is to design a scientific or engineering payload and launch it to as close to an altitude of 5280 feet as possible. Our payload is a controlled descent vehicle, so we will be able to guide the descent to a point on the ground.

Glad to see you're back, and I hope you'll start blogging again. :)

DTH Rocket said...

BTW, Now that I think of it, TARC wasn't a NASA thing, but I believe it was NASA sponsored.

cj said...

That's awesome, TARC huh? I'll have to check it out. I just started getting into Space Exploration and rocketry about a year ago, and I recently gave a speech at a competition about the Importance of Space Exploration. I just remembered your blog and how involved you are in all things space, and I have been thinking about getting back into the blogging arena for a little while, in fact I'm working on a post now. Cool talking to you again. ttyl

cj said...

Perhaps I'll post my speech sometime. It is a bit long for a post though.