A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will launch its hand-built rocket 23,000 feet into the air as part of the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association’s 10th Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Challenge (IREC).
The competition will be held Wednesday, June 24, through Saturday, June 27, in Green River, Utah. Missouri S&T’s High Power Engineered Rocket Design Team (HPER Team), part of the Advanced Aero Vehicle Group, will compete against approximately 45 other collegiate teams from around the world at the event.
The goal of the competition is to launch and recover a rocket with a 10-pound payload closest to 23,000 feet above ground level. Teams can have points deducted for traveling too far below or above the targeted altitude. Teams will also have to give a technical presentation about their rockets to a panel of judges.
During flight, the Missouri S&T team will gather data about the rocket’s trajectory and altitude via instruments included in the payload. The team will also conduct thermal research on the rocket’s nosecone and fins, and gather data about current air pollutants for further research work.
The payload on the rocket will also include a cube satellite, named LEONIDAS, developed by a team of 12 students from the University of Sydney in Australia. The satellite will test the resilience of 3-D printed plastics and an electronics system designed for remote photography in space during the rocket’s acceleration. Harrison Steel and Michel Fathallah, both students at the University of Sydney, will travel with the Missouri S&T team. The cube satellite will compete in Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory “SDL Payload Challenge,” which is held in conjunction with the IREC.
Missouri S&T’s rocket, named Hyperion, has an airframe made of a mixture of fiberglass and blue tube. It is a two-stage rocket, meaning that it has both an initial launch booster, which separates from the rocket after its use, and a sustainer, which then ignites and takes the rocket to its maximum altitude. It stands 13.5 feet tall and weighs approximately 95 pounds. Parachutes are deployed to both pieces of the rocket to aid in recovery, which constitutes a large portion of the competition’s scoring.