UPC Students Successfully Launch A Suborbital Supersonic Rocket


Students from the Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT) of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) have successfully built and launched the most powerful suborbital supersonic rocket ever built in Catalonia and the most powerful in Spain devised by university students.

The launch took place this Tuesday, November 30, from the facilities of the Arenosillo Experimentation Center (CDEA), of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) in Huelva, where the rocket reached an altitude of 7,800 meters at a speed of 1,700 km / hour, the UPC reported this Wednesday.

The students, who belong to the Cosmic Research association of the ESEIAAT, and in which there are 3 students from the University of the Basque Country, had, between November 29 and December 3, launch windows authorized by the Ministry of Education. Defending.

The aluminum rocket, called ‘Bondar’, has a length of 2.61 meters, a diameter of 131 mm, a weight of 33 kg and took off at a maximum speed of 1,500 km / h.

The rocket is modular and consists of the engine module, the recovery module and the avionics module, the university has pointed out.

The engine module contains propalent, composed of ammonium perchlorate, aluminum, and a binder, which is a formula similar to that used by NASA’s Space Shuttle secondary rockets.

The engine burns for only six seconds, long enough to propel the rocket up to an altitude of 2.4 km, and then it continues to ascend by its own inertia to about 7,800 meters. The four fins of this module are essential to stabilize Bondar’s trajectory, the UPC stressed.

The second module is the one that has been located in the center of the rocket, called recovery. For its drop into the sea, it contains a main parachute, a pilot parachute and a sighting light.

The third module is the most complex, called avionics, and is made up of the warhead and a space where all the electronics travel, such as signal amplifiers, two antennas, batteries and separation detonators.

Its function is twofold and consists of sending GPS data to the control center and activating the detonators.

In the last five years, Cosmic Research students have launched 36 rockets and collaborated with the European Space Agency in competitions to challenge high school students from across Europe to build and launch mini satellites.

The 16 students that make up Cosmic Research are Daniel Cantos, Marc Martí, Víctor Ubieto, Xavier López, Marc Bermejo, Marc Bono, Javier Hidalgo, Adam El Ghaib, Oscar Ortega, Arnau Pena, Marc Casanovas, Néstor Fuertes and Alba Badia, all of them from ESEIAAT, together with Ander Hospital, Iñigo Bouzas and Laura Burgos, from the University of the Basque Country.

The rocket has been christened ‘Bondar’ in honor of Roberta Bondar, a Canadian who was the first female astronaut and who participated in the Discovery mission in 1992.

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