by Jasmine Carter
On a chilly Sunday morning in Sudbury Massachusetts, 10 members of the BU Rocket Propulsion Group prepared for an important test of their rocket to ready it for its final launch in July. After having to plow a clearing in their test site which previously had been covered with approximately 4 feet of snow, the team readied their rocket and test stand for its first cold flow test.
This test is one of many that the team has done in order to prepare its rocket for launch in July, when they will travel to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, a large dry lake bed that is approximately 60 miles long, by 15 across. This space will provide the perfect backdrop for their 30ft, 1100lb hybrid rocket to launch over 140km. This distance is above the Kármán line, which generally represents the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
The cold flow test, which involves running the propellants through the engine without igniting them, was an important test of the launch pad; test stand; and support trailer which, weighs 7000lbs; and the rocket systems and avionics.
After passing this test, the team will be aiming for a hot fire between the end of March and beginning of April, 2015.
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