June 22, 2009
Media advisory: UW team takes off tomorrow for rocket competition
WHAT: A home-built rocket that will compete later this week in the 4th annual Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. The winning rocket must carry a 10-pound payload to 10,000 feet (about two miles).
WHO: A team of 11 graduate students and four faculty members in the University of Washington’s department of aeronautics and astronautics.
WHEN: The rocket and team members will be available to meet with media on Monday, June 22 only. Contact faculty advisor Adam Bruckner at 206-543-6143 to schedule a meeting with the team. The students leave Seattle on Tuesday. The competition will take place Thursday and Friday in Utah.
WHERE: UW Seattle campus, Space Systems Lab
DETAILS: Over the past five months a team of graduate students have built a rocket that will participate in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. Seattle Central Community College is one of five other teams participating. This is the first time the UW will compete. The UW’s completed 11-foot rocket is available for viewing but cannot be launched in Seattle.
The 11-foot rocket contains electrical and mechanical systems, flight computers and radio communications that students have developed. The loaded rocket weighs more than 50 pounds.
In the first three seconds after launch the rocket will nearly reach the speed of sound. The vehicle will then coast to the desired altitude. Air brakes will be used to stop flight at the target altitude. Once it has reached peak height, the rocket will use two parachutes to land. Students must recover all components and have the rocket in flying condition to receive full points.