A team from the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (RPL) The University of Southern California (USP) launched the first ever student designed and built the rocket past the space boundary. They successfully also got their 8 inch diameter 13 meter long spacecraft 12 miles down from where they launched it.
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Internal analysis of flight data indicated close security that the rocket named Traveler IV had violated Kármán line. "We can say with 90 percent certainty that RPL's latest spacecraft, Traveler IV, passed the Kármán line, the recognized boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space," said Neil Tewskbury, RPL's lead operator.
The rocket was reported to have reached a height of 340,000 feet. Traveler IV quickly accelerated at over 1
RPL & # 39; s avionics system detected the aircraft using its built-in sensors, it also implemented the vehicle's parachutes to apogee so that the rocket could safely fall back to the ground. The flight lasted a total of 11 minutes.
"After almost 15 years and probably over a million working hours, RPL has finally reached its goal of being the first student group to launch the first student designed and built rocket past the Karman line," says senior engineer Dennis Smalling.
Fourth time is the charm
The event was the fourth attempt by the university to break the boundary of space and saw more than 80 undergraduate participants. 004 by student Ian Whittinghill.
The group is a great opportunity for students to learn both about building rockets and cooperation. "People often ask why the USC calls on students to participate in the construction of amateur rockets," said David Barnhart, USC Viterbi astronaut research assistant and Space Engineering Research Center director.
"In addition to the amazing hands-free experience that translates what they learn in the classroom into a working rocket, it is typically the first time many have built and created something as big as a team. The fact that they do it themselves and Taking advantage of a unique introduction to the astronaut, providing incredible motivation and excitement throughout their careers. "
The RPL team is already working on a floating vehicle, CubeSat implementation, active rocket stabilization, and new solid engine designs.