Rockets Away!!

Members of the Missouri S&T High Power Engineered Rocket (HPER) Design Team will be the next generation of rocket scientists, and they’ve moved up in class and complexity this year by entering the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC), a four-day event at which each of nearly forty teams gets just one flight. That’s right, a year or more of work and planning comes down to a single launch.
The 11-member crew, plus two honorary team members from the University of Sydney (Australia), set up in the breakfast room of the Green River, Utah Comfort Inn last night to prep for today’s presentations. They have to explain everything they set out to do to some daunting rocketry experts who will also determine if the bird will even be allowed to fly.

How’d the Aussies get involved? They designed and built one of the three on-board payload experiments the Miners will fly. Why’d they pick S&T? It seems their partnership with another school fizzled when that rocket launched in many directions and in a few thousand pieces all at once. No more launch vehicle, and the Miners said “Sure! Come with us!”

Things like that happen in rocketry and real life. While crossing Kansas en route to Utah, the Miners blew a head gasket on the truck hauling all their gear. An amazing effort on the part of Sandee Champ, the SDELC’s admin assistant, located a rental truck some 50 miles away, and with a bit of scrambling they repacked everything and made up all but one hour of their travel schedule!