|What is the purpose of a rocket launch?
||As with all rockets, there's no fundamental purpose to going up and down. More generally, any rocket, orbital or suborbital, has the purpose of accelerating a payload to somewhere high and/or fast. Thus, the purpose is dependent on the payload. Our team like to maximize the usefulness of the rocket by considering as many payload options as possible, as well as enable multiple payloads to be attached.
|What are sounding rockets, and what is their purpose?
||Sounding rockets are suborbital - they go straight up and down, unlike the ISS or space shuttle which enter orbit. The purpose of a sounding rocket is to carry a payload to the upper atmosphere, where the payload can then do whatever it was designed to do.
|What is a payload and what does it usually consist of?
||The payload of a rocket is whatever the rocket is taking up with it. It could be anything - a paper airplane, a scientific experiment, or even fireworks! Click here to learn more.
|What are suborbital payloads generally useful for?
||Most suborbital payloads are studying some effects of microgravity or properties of the upper atmosphere or testing some components in a launch environment.
|What is an apogee?
||Apogee is the term referring to the point when the rocket is furthest from the ground. This is also when the rocket has zero vertical velocity, and typically when the first recovery event occurs.
|What is the recovery phase in the context of rockets?
||Since we spend so much time building the rocket and the payload in it, we would like to have the rocket come down in as controlled and safe a manner as possible. For this, parachutes are typically used, and this process is known as recovery. Click here to learn more.
|What powers the rocket?
||We will be using a high powered solid fuel rocket for our first year at competition. In the future, we will be developing our own hybrid propulsion system or liquid propulsion system.
|How will we control the rocket?
||Our rocket must be designed to be aerodynamically stable, so it requires no active flight controls during ascent. A flight computer of our own design, or one that we purchased, will be used to detect when the rocket reaches apogee and control the recovery events.