Princeton Spaceshot Successfully Launches

The team successfully launched and recovered their 2 stage rocket from Spaceport America on May 27th, currently waiting on data as to see what altitude was met. The goal was >100km.

A second launch of the same rocket a few days later, unfortunately, had a failed sustainer ignition resulting from a brown out (an unintentional drop in voltage from the supply). The sustainer still coasted to 50,000 ft and Mach 3 and was successfully recovered.

Princeton Aiming for Space Again

The team had told me late last year they will be attempting their space shot again, now it is finally official!
The first launch of their two-stage rocket, unfortunately, suffered a failed ignition of the sustainer, the vehicle performed flawlessly and the sustainer was recovered. By the recent post, it looks like they will have the ignition issues sorted this time round!

Check out the team’s website here for more rocket information!

Princeton SpaceShot Liftoff Footage

Some great video footage of Princeton Spaceshots recent rocket launch. Unfortunately, the sustainer failed to ignite but was recovered successfully after coasting to 50,000ft. Everything else went off without a hitch, so let’s hope the team try again soon.

This is courtesy of Rocketry Photography, who specialises in capturing footage of your rocket as it leaves the pad. As seen in the below video a pitching arm has been used to follow the rocket as it leaves the pad, making for some spectacular footage!

Just waiting for that onboard video now!


Princeton SpaceShot Gets Part of the Way

As reported earlier Princeton SpaceShot attempted to launch their rocket to 100km on Sunday. The team, as stated below had a successful liftoff but unfortunately, the sustainer failed to ignite and coasted its way up to 50,000ft before coming down under parachute and being successfully recovered.

Although not a complete success, the lessons learned and experience will be priceless. If only an ignition issue is the ultimate thing to sort, I do hope they try again soon!

Princeton SpaceShot Launching Today

Updated 27/5/18 – Launch delayed to 9am Mountain time

The Princeton SpaceShot team will attempt to launch their 2-stage rocket to the Karman line May 27th from Spaceport America.

The launch is slated for 8am 9am Mountain time (11 am EST, 8 am PDT, 3 am NZST(28th)).

The rocket has a predicted apogee of 455,650ft (138.8 km)  and is powered by two COTS motors. The booster will use an O5040X, burning for 4.5s at an average thrust of 1133lbf (5040N) before coasting for 12s where the sustainer, powered by a M1378 will ignite giving the rocket its final push towards space, Table 1.

The spent booster will coast to 35,000ft before descending on a stable ballistic trajectory. The sustainer will deploy a 12″ parachute at apogee and descend on this until impact. To help the team track the flight and recover the sustainer the rocket has dual fully independent AIM XTRA GPS flight computers, each providing live data telemetry, a GoPro is also on board to record the entire flight.

Flight events (Credit: Princeton SpaceShot)

Charlie Garcia from the MIT Rocket team will be live-tweeting from the launch, so make sure to give him a follow for real-time updates. And of course, there will be a live stream as mentioned in the team’s Facebook post above.

Good luck to all!

Princeton Rocketry Club Aiming for May Spaceshot

The Princeton Rocketry Club is currently in full swing working towards a May launch date of their two-stage rocket intended to fly to 400,000ft or 121.9km altitude. Given the definition of space is 100km this launch could be one of the first student rockets to reach space, all going to plan.

Princeton SpaceShot (Credit: Princeton Rocketry Club)

The Princeton SpaceShot, as it is aptly named, is a two-stage launch vehicle using off the shelf rocket motors and is of minimum diameter. The upper stage or sustainer as it is referred to is derived from Project Stratos that was tested last year and flew to 39,125ft, the rocket was only 2″ (50.8mm) in diameter. The booster is 4″ (101.6mm) in diameter and the rocket 3.3m in length, the overall weight at liftoff is expected to be 50lbs (22.67kg).

By using off the shelf commercial motors the team hopes to decrease the risks associated with making your own motors while taking advantage of the high reliability and safety of a commercial motor. A thorough FEA analysis and 6-DOF flight simulation have been carried out, with the vehicle now in the shop coming together.

The team plan to launch from Spaceport America, with the launch window open from May 26th to May 27th 2018.

Princeton is not the only ones vying for the Karman line, USCRPL will attempt a launch in April(?) with others like Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group and Space Enterprise at Berkeley heading in that same direction at a later date.

You can follow the Princeton SpaceShot by checking back here or head over to their,

[Edit: I originally had the USCRPL attempt listed as June, where in fact this should have been April, this has been updated to reflect this. An Instagram post points towards the end of the semester for the launch.]