Update 12/11/16 – Moving Forward

Hello!

As finals draw ever closer, LPRD takes a bit of a break to allow our membership more time to study. However, one major test still happened yesterday up in North Branch MN. We finally got the opportunity to launch our Asymmetric Thrust Rocket, the Cerberus, which we had been working on for the past semester. To put it lightly, things did not go as planned. The main motor of the rocket had a pressure failure and the bottom half of the rocket went up in flames. We’ll have a full report on the incident in early 2017, but until then we’ll have to make some decisions about our next design and how to get our liquid engine off the ground.

LPRD as a group is gaining quite a lot of steam. This semester, we have solidified our ignition methods, made progress on a new test stand, and have begun some work on designing our liquid rocket. It’s still in the early stages, but our long term goals put us at launching a liquid rocket in a year or two. Next year we hope to continue this upward momentum and learn a lot along the way, and I am honored to fill David’s place at LPRD as he moves upward with his internship at Blue Origin. We’re all very proud of him, and give our best wishes for his success.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at LPRD, and we hope to see you back here next year!


Subteam Spotlight: Nitrous

This semester has been a very productive one for Nitrous subteam.  Coming in as a brand new team, we had a lot on our plate to accomplish.  At the moment, we are slightly behind schedule; we were hoping to have fired the Mk1 nitrous engine by the end of the semester.  However, we have made excellent progress towards that goal.  Currently, most of our machining is complete, and the rest should be completed quickly at the beginning of next semester.  

We have ordered/received all of our hardware for the test stand conversion too and should be able to complete the setup and conversion at the beginning of next semester as well.

 

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Update 12/4/16 – Winter’s Coming

Hi all!

LPRD Rocketry has been making some steady progress over the past couple of weeks, but the weather has been doing it’s darndest to stop us. While we have a rocket ready to fly to further test out our asymmetric thrust concept, the weather isn’t cooperating, so that’s a shame. Similarly, further testing on our engines becomes more and more difficult as the temperatures drop and the snow falls, so we’ll have to spend some time thinking hard about whether we want to test out in the cold.

However, I (David) will not be joining them in that decision. In addition to complaining about the weather in Minnesota, this post is my announcement that I will be taking a gap year from school to pursue some other career development, and the team will be transitioning into the capable hands of Glen Smith and the rest of our leadership team. Glen has been here for about a year and currently leads the flight team, but he will be stepping up into the communications, public outreach, and administrative role I currently fill, so look forward to hearing from him in the future! Glen’s a great guy, and of all the people at this university, I could not imagine a better person to further our mission of rocketry and our culture of relentless practical learning.

This will be my last post to the LPRD Rocketry blog, because the next one you will see will be from Glen! I’m very proud of what we’ve managed to accomplish and deeply proud of the people who have worked and grown with me to create the organization we have today. With that said, I’ll pass the mic over and let Glen update you on Flight Subteam in the subteam spotlight.


Subteam Spotlight: Flight

Glen Smith of LPRD Rocketry with high power asymetric thrust rocket to test unique booster concept

This week on Saturday we plan on launching our asymmetric rocket. After a few delays we are just about ready to go, with a few last minute preparations to be finished. The main problem that we were facing was manufacturing the custom rocket parts we needed to make the asymmetric section of the rocket. With the resources in the Exceed lab, one of our student shops on campus, we were able to make all the needed parts. The 8 degree angle needed for some of our parts was challenging to cut precisely, but we came up with the solution of using a few pieces of wood as a brace in the shape of a triangle to hold the flame tube in position for the cut. This Saturday will be a huge milestone towards flying a liquid rocket engine, if the weather holds out. 


Member Spotlight: Aaron Breidenbach

LPRD Rocketry's Aaron Breidenbach performing some sort of physics demonstration with a vacuum

Don’t ask me what this is; I just receive the pictures and put them in

My name is Aaron Breidenbach.  I am a third year physics major at the University of Minnesota.  Being a member of LPRD rocketry has given me a great opportunity  to apply my knowledge of physics to a practical application.  I have always been fascinated by fluid mechanics and advanced kinematic problems in my coursework, and I think that it is great being able to see the theory go to work to put a rocket high up in the air.  

Other than LPRD rocketry, I enjoy researching new complex magnetic materials and teaching other students as a TA for physics I.  I also like doing physics demos for elementary age students on the weekends too (that’s me in the vacuum bag!).  If I had time to sleep I’d probably like that too!

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