Fall 2017 Project

Idea: We will design and construct a solid-fuel powered rocket that will launch in the fall 2017. The target altitude of this rocket is 2500 meters. The fuel will be potassium nitrate. Concurrently, research and design planning will begin on a liquid fuel rocket engine. In spring 2018, the liquid rocket engine will be built and tested. In spring 2018, a two-stage rocket will be designed and built, incorporating the previously designed and tested solid fuel and liquid fuel engines. The goal for this rocket is to reach an altitude of 10,000 meters. The ultimate goal of the Propulsion Team is to build a rocket capable of passing the Karman line, the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space, approximately 100 kilometers above sea level.

Significance: Designing and building a successful solid fuel rocket engine will be an important step towards building a rocket that can reach the Karman line. The design of this solid fuel engine will likely be directly or indirectly used as a part of future rocket designs. A launch will also create interest in the organization and draw in more more future rocket scientists.

Proof of Concept: Solid fuel rockets are used in many launches, especially to assist a liquid fuel main stage in carrying a large load. Our long-term goal is to recreate this exact scenario, but in a smaller scale. By pursuing this goal we are creating interest in space and getting our members and the general public excited about what can be accomplished in space. Given a reasonable time frame, a multi-stage solid-fuel-boosted liquid fuel rocket is entirely feasible.

 
 
GRAHAM JOHNSON

GRAHAM JOHNSON

 

Propulsion Team Project Lead

graham.a.johnson97@berkeley.edu