This past week at LPRD Rocketry, we’ve completely moved around our test stand so that it now incorporates a force plate which will (hopefully) allow us to measure the performance of our engine. In theory, regardless of how hard it explodes and whether that explosion is contained, we should get a reading of some sort.
Separately from that, our parent student group, Tesla Works, hosted a Friday night project where they put the manpower to use helping us build some small kit model rockets with which the Flight subteam will later go on to prototype. The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry… but hopefully not this time!
We’re getting closer and closer to our test with Orbital ATK. Next Saturday, we’ll run a dress rehearsal where everything will be operated as if we were at the proving grounds. We’ll hopefully catch any last minute issues in time for our Test Readiness Review on Sunday, and then only one week until Spring Break and testing!
To those non-members interested in going: the number of individuals we can bring is limited, but there may be room for a few. Contact me if interested.
Subteam Spotlight: Launch
Launch team has been primarily occupied this semester with upgrading and updating our test stand and procedures for the test with Orbital ATK. As you probably know, the stand now allows for some throttle control and will hopefully offer force measurements. Many thanks to Dan Gates, who has been helping us poor college students. Having a mechanic on hand is really quite useful, and our test stand looks infinitely better for it!
In addition, we’re starting to look towards upgrading our test stand. We’re looking to make the test stand capable of delivering cryogenic propellants which would allow us to increase the density of our oxidizer. Sam worked on finding the cold-compatible parts to make that happen, and Paige and Michael are looking into getting our hands on some liquid nitrogen to develop our experience and capabilities with cryogenic materials and test the feed lines of the test stand with cold fluid flowing through.
Apart from that, Tyler and Jame are looking even further into the future and developing/designing a vertical test stand which would allow us to test a rocket engine/rocket vertical configuration.
Member Spotlight: Michael Schmit
Hello, my name is Michael Schmit, and I am currently a sophomore majoring in Aerospace Engineering. I decided to join LPRD because I was interested in gaining some hands on experience working through design challenges to create a finished product. I chose to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering because I’ve always been fascinated by outer space, and would love to help design spacecraft to allow us to expand our knowledge of the universe. When I’m not busy doing school work, I also enjoy hiking, biking, reading, and listening to music.
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