In addition to regular Saturday Launch all-member meetings, Space Race teams meet once a week to work on their independent rocketry projects.
Throughout the first few weeks of the semester, XSpace members have been familiarizing themselves with OpenRocket, which is Launch Initiative's primary rocketry design program. All members are encouraged to install the program on their computer because of its usefulness in running simulation on rockets that they will be working out throughout the year. Most members of the Space Race teams are also participating in the Level 1 program. For those with OpenRocket installed, Level 1 designs and simulations have been carried out to give new members an idea of what components are important in a model rocket and of just how powerful and L1 rocket is.
On Saturday, September 29th, several XSpace members were able to attend their first Upstate Rocketry Research Group (URRG) launch in Potter, NY. Going to the launch was a great experience to see some of the opportunities that being a rocketry association member opens up. New members were also able to witness some of the pre-launch procedures, such as installing motors, that take place before one's rocket goes on the launch rail.
This semester is off to a great start. A team of 12 members has begun preliminary design consideration on this year's competition rocket. The mission: Deliver the payload (Just The Tip, currently under development for Odysseus) to 30,000 feet at the 2019 Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico. The current component model for the project can be seen below:
Given the goal of the payload (see Odysseus Project Update #1), we have decided to name this project The Water Bearer. One of the main focuses of this project is to minimize aerodynamic drag to allow for the use of a smaller COTS engine. To achieve this, we plan on utilizing custom transition pieces, namely the airframe reducer and the boat tail at the end of the rocket. Velocities of around Mach 2.0 are expected during flight, which gives this a top priority. Other features of this project include jettison motors on the nosecone to expose the payload, a spring-loaded release system to eject the payload, and a fin can assembly with the capability of removing and replacing fins.
Stay posted for more updates on our project!
Upstate Research Rocketry Group (URRG), Potter, NY (Link)
Today's launch was the first test launch of the new VT nosecones for the L1 program, as well as a test of the SQ12 camera system for future launches. The rocket was retrofitted with a 60" parachute, allowing for slow descent and plenty of footage capture. Estimated max altitude of 1,200 feet AGL reached
Every Story Has a Beginning... -Tim Burton
Currently, both in our team and most of the hobby, rockets are already landed and re-used, the ultimate goal of SpaceX's landing system. However, most rockets currently use parachutes to achieve this goal. Parachutes are usually reliable, but they are at the mercy of the wind. This issue led to our team having to travel over 3 miles last year to retrieve a rocket from the top of a tree! Odysseus rockets would be able to land using rockets, allowing for rapid, precise descent.
For such an ambitious projects, baby steps are the way to get. Phase 1 of the Odysseus project will not be a rocket, but a payload. The payload, named "Just The Tip" will fly in the IREC 2019 rocket to 30,000 feet, before deploying and conducting a parachute-assisted propulsive landing (PAPL). In order to comply with IREC regulations, the payload will have to conform to a 3U cubesat form factor, as seen above. This test will allow us to confirm all of our electronics and subsystems are working, as well as to prove that such an act is possible. This system will also carry multiple secondary internal projects, that will further other development projects of the team, and conduct scientific experiments.