Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Static testing hybrid rockets for a flight to space

Static testing hybrid rockets for a flight to space:

A team of rocketry enthusiasts at Boston University have been working on a small hybrid rocket motor that serves as a test bed for a larger, yet-to-be-designed power plant that will hopefully launch a rocket into space.
The static tests of the BURT Mk. II began last April with a series of tests using HTPB solid fuel and Nitrous Oxide as the oxidizer. The team had a series of failures – mostly due to the JB Weld seal on the igniter leads blowing out – but managed a 10 second burn on April 21st.
For later tests, a vector drive system built by a complimentary Boston University engineering group was used to control the direction of the thrust up to 12 degrees away from the axis of the engine. That’s an impressive bit of kit, especially considering the exhaust from the rocket reaches over 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even though it’s summer now and the Boston University team is on a much deserved break, we can’t wait to see what the BURT team comes up with next year. Hopefully we’ll see a flight test that reaches the team’s goal of the Karman line.

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