Apr 18, 2012 - Claremont, Calif. - The NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) challenges university-level students to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level.
(L to R) Tessa Adair, Steve Hang, Jane Hoffswell and Jeb Brooks at rocket subscale launch in November.
Josh Edelman and Chris Cotner with the team's custom rocket.
HMC team members Tessa Adair ’14, Jeb Brooks ’14, Christopher Cotner ’13, Josh Edelman ’14, Steven Hang ’13, Jane Hoffswell ’14 and Erik Littleton ’13 have spent the school year designing and preparing their rocket for the competition.
The 80.4-inch-long rocket will carry a scientific payload that will transmit data during the flight—from launch to descent. Its sensor package will record and transmit GPS position, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, ultraviolet radiation and solar irradiance measurements.
Inspiration for the rocket project came from Team Leader Jane Hoffswell, who had participated in the high school version of the competition prior to attending HMC.
“Historically Mudd has had waves of interest in rocketry where the club will be very active but then die down. My freshman year there was not much participation, so I hoped with this competition to see a lot more interest in the HMC rocketry club,” she said. “I also wanted to do something that would represent our school and provide a memorable rocketry experience.”
The team’s rocket passed all of the USLI-required NASA design, safety and flight readiness reviews, and has been shipped to Alabama in preparation for the April 21 launch.
“They’ve done a terrific job of folding this challenging project in with their already challenging academic schedule,” said physics Professor Greg Lyzenga ’75, the team’s faculty advisor. “They’ve learned that, in addition to the technical aspects of the project, a lot of effort needs to go into organization and management, including details such as how to ship the rocket to Alabama.”
The team received support from the Shanahan Endowed Student-Directed Project Fund, which funds projects of an academic or co-curricular nature, including those that involve student-directed research.
More details about the project can be viewed here.
The NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) challenges university-level students to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger