Rocket Roundup

Lots of exciting rocket launches from around the world recently. Below are a few that have taken place.

USC RPL (Fathom launch)

Video Caption: At 3.5 seconds into flight, Fathom experienced a motor case burn through leading to a catastrophic failure.


DARE (ACT Flight Footage Roll Control Launch May 2016)

Video Caption: ACT’s first launch of their actively roll-controlled rocket. Launched on 20th May 2016 at ASK ‘t Harde during DARE launch day.


UCSD SEDS (Vulcan-1 launch)

Video Caption: On May 21st, 2016 in the Mohave Desert, UCSD’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UCSD SEDS) made history by becoming the first university organization to launch a liquid rocket powered by a 3D printed engine! Standing at 20 feet, the Vulcan-I rocket boasted 10,0000+ collective hours of effort over 3 generations of SEDS team members.

A Look At Vulcan-1

Today I received my reward from SEDS UCSD (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, University of California, Sand Diego)  Kickstarter campaign which were fundraising to complete and launch their Vulcan-1  liquid fuelled rocket. The team succeeded and raised $21,882 of their $15,000 goal.

This rocket was quite different, in the fact that the engine was completely 3D printed, the 750lbf engine, called Ignus, was the second 3D printed prototype the team has done, the first, Tri-D, a 250lbf engine was printed and test fired back in 2013, from which the experience has gone into producing the Vulcan-1 engine.

Tri-D rocket engine. (Credit: SEDS UCSD)

Ignus runs on lox/Jet-A producing 750lbf of thrust at 400psi chamber pressure, is regeneratively cooled and was entirely printed from Inconel 718.

Ignus rocket engine (Credit: SEDS UCSD & AMazing)

More build pictures can be found here.

Vulcan-1 which Ignus will power is a 17’2″ (5.59m) tall, 8″ (0.203m) diameter rocket. Vulcan-1 features aluminum tanks for the lox and Jet-A and a composite structure in all other areas, the rocket will be recovered via a 10ft drogue chute and a 28ft main chute. More specs and a cool informative rocket graphic can be found here.

Vulcan-1 undergoing a cold flow test (Credit: SEDS UCSD)

The team were set to launch Vulcan at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) held June 24-27th in Utah, unfortunately, troubles arose in the main actuator valve while performing cold flow tests from which the launch was postponed.

The team did say they would try again and launch in August of this year, but that has not happened as far as I know. Here is to hoping they do get to launch Vulcan-1 and look forward to seeing many more projects come from this great student group.