Students at the San Diego State University (SDSU) have successfully launched their Galactic Aztec liquid fuelled rocket.
Over the years, students have teamed up with Flometrics to build and launch a liquid fuelled rocket. The previous rocket Swiss Miss has seen two successful launches using a lox/alcohol ablative rocket engine, and is shown in the videos below.
Galactic Aztec is a completely new rocket for this year. Powered by a surplus Atlas missile vernier engine, the LR101, it burns lox/kerosene as its propellants and produces 1000lbf (4480N) of thrust.
Rather than build a monocoque structure where the tanks are also the skin as with Swiss Miss, this year the project has opted for a semi-monocoque structure which consists of ribs/frames and longerons for strength. Although a heavier structure, one can say it is almost easier to work with as this type of layout allows various bits and pieces such as electronics to be positioned almost anywhere within the rocket frame, an aluminium skin and carbon fibre composites then covers this structure.
A test of the rocket’s cryogenic LOX tank and systems then took place followed by a static fire as shown in the videos below.
The launch then successfully took place this past weekend at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) test site outside of Mojave in California.
The rocket countdown, launch and recovery were a success as seen in the video below, but a fuel or LOX leak of some sort looks to have set the carbon fibre boat tail on fire as it mades its ascent.
Congratulations to the students of SDSU and look forward to hearing the full launch report.