After months of design, technical report construction, and manufacturing, the XSpace rocket, Fool's Journey, is complete! The rocket stands at about 8 feet tall and is now ready for launch. Unfortunately, the rain, snow, and cold of Upstate New York prevented the team from launching by their target of May 2019, even thought the rocket has been launch-ready for a month. The manufacturing phase was a great experience for new members, who got to have lots of hands-on experience with different materials and machine tools. Additionally, co-authoring the 30-page technical report, which explains the details of why the rocket is designed the way it is, is excellent preparation for reports that will be required for future competition rockets.
A Fool's Journey overview presentation with some calculations, as well as the technical report, are attached to this post.
The RIT Launch Initiative team was founded in 2015 by several students that are passionate about aerospace and rocketry. The idea was to create a team that unites students who share an excitement about aerospace and rocketry that can come together to learn and be exposed to the field. Since its founding, the team has grown to around 40 to 60 members and competes in international rocket competitions. The team is nationally ranked 12th and internationally ranked 13th.
The team's main competition is the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition IREC which takes place in Spaceport New Mexico. The team's competition objective to get as close as possible in altitude to 30,000 ft and deploy a payload, which is a surrogate for a cube satellite.
RIT Launch Initiative will be using one of these sports cameras this year. We plan to use a modified security camera to get footage of the rocket launching off the pad at the IREC competition. This year's competition rocket has an onboard flight computer that will autonomously control parachute deployment and payload deployment. The flight computer will record acceleration, GPS telemetry, and other data during the entire flight from the rocket sitting on the pad to landing. The camera will help the team validate different events during the launch sequence. The camera will also provide footage for our social media pages and website. For further reading on how to choose an appropriate camera for your launch, you may find this camera guide useful.