On Saturday March 17th, 2018 our high powered hybrid rocket, The Raging Bull, was test launched for the first time in order to get ready for the upcoming NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium Hybrid Motor Rocket Competition, FSGC for short. A hybrid rocket is one that has solid fuel and a gaseous oxidizer, in our case we use PVC and Nitrous Oxide. Before the launch the rocket is filled with gas and then the PVC is ignited. The Raging Bull was successfully recovered after it was launched to an apogee of 2116 feet, only 116 feet away from the goal!
Over this past weekend our NASA Student Launch Team launched Apis II for the third and last time before competition day in a few weeks. With an apogee of 5,278 feet we came within less than 10 feet within our goal of 1 mile! The flight was an overall success with no recovery or flight issues. All that’s left to do now is paint the rocket, and wait for competition day!
Loading the payload
The team with Apis II
Loading Apis II onto the launch rail
The team heading out to recover the rocket
The Nosecone and Rover section were recovered safely!
The Booster Section was recovered safely!
Here is a slow-motion video of the flight in all its glory:
On February 17th, we launched Bullistic, our oldest and most-launched high-power rocket. Built back in 2013, we used this rocket as a test vehicle for our experimental in-house solid motor. It was a successful launch reaching 5566 ft. Unfortunately, Bullisitic suffered damage to one of its fins upon landing, despite successful parachute deployment.
On February 17th 2018 we had our second full scale flight for APIS 2. She launched to 5415 feet and had a minor technical difficulty upon landing. We recovered the Booster Section easily but had to go searching in a small pond for the Nosecone and Rover compartment. Luckily all was found and with minimal damage. We will be launching again in March so be on the lookout for updates!
We had a great time at the Engineering Expo at USF on Friday and Saturday! We talked to students from all grade levels about STEM education and what we do. We made stomp rockets using paper rockets and soda bottle launchers. Everyone enjoyed watching the rockets SOAR with our record being 90 ft! Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this awesome event happen!
Ross and our president Jonathan getting ready for EXPO.
We definitely needed more paper rockets!
To the left is our viewing area!
We had a steady line going all day!
Kids stomp on the bottle to make the rockets fly!
Launching rockets down the field.
Showing kids some of the projects we work on throughout the year.
Our VP Stephanie holding some of the paper rockets we made for EXPO!
We had a great time in Bunnell Florida at our first Full Scale launch for NSL yesterday! We had a successful launch, reaching 5574 feet and an interesting recovery when our Nosecone and Payload Section landed in the power lines and our Booster Section landed about a mile away. We have lots of work to do in order to get ready for launch #2 in February. A special thanks to FPL, Florida Power & Lights, for getting our rocket down safely from the power lines!
Turning on the altimeters before leaving the launch pad.
Our mentor Jim guiding us when assembling the rocket.
Checking items off the safety checklist as we go along.
After a long day we are finally ready to launch!
Carrying the rocket to the launch pad.
Loading the motor into the rocket.
Prepping the motor.
Inspecting the parachutes before we fold them and place them inside the rocket!
Earlier this afternoon our mentor Jim along with some of our members traveled to Plant City in order to conduct our Ground Test before our launch tomorrow. We conducted three static ejection tests including: Drogue, Main Parachute, and Nosecone Parachute. All three tests were a success and allow us to move on to our full scale launch tomorrow!
Loading the Booster Section with the parachute for the ejection test.
Prepping the Booster Section to be loaded before testing.
A successful ejection test of the Nosecone and parachute from the Payload Compartment.
Moving on to the next section!
A look right after the charges set off and the separation is made.
Attaching the Nosecone to the Payload Compartment.
Our mentor Jim helping Ian and Jackson setup for testing.
Setting up the Nosecone and Payload Compartment for ejection testing.
Members of our team spent a chilly Sunday morning building their full scale rocket for the NASA Student Launch. The team is now one build day closer to finishing up their rocket before its launch in the upcoming weeks. Check back next week for another update on the construction of the rocket!
On January 4th 2018 some of our members toured SOFWERX in Tampa, FL. SOFWERX is a partnership between Doolittle Institute and the United States Special Operations Command whose goal is to solve challenging problems in an innovative way. Our members got to take an exciting look at their facility, workshop, and drone flying room!
On Saturday, December 16th, 2017, members of our NASA Student Launch Team successfully launched their new sub-scale rocket for the first time! The sub-scale rocket launched, separated, and landed safely, but the team did come across a couple issues. Despite having some tangled shock cord and one failed parachute the rocket did reach approximately 3,131 feet. With the sub-scale launch completed the team now has some great insight on what needs to be worked on for the upcoming full scale build days!