The NASA Student Launch
is a national University-level competition held in Huntsville, Alabama at NASA Marshall Space Center. The competition is payload focused and the rockets reach altitudes of ~5,000 ft. Payloads are research based, and used to support NASA’S Space Launch System. The Buckeye Space Launch Initiative is competing with a student researched and developed rocket and payload design in April 2020.
The structures team constructs and applies any design changes for the airframe, nosecone, and fins of the rocket in addition to any specialized structural needs. The main material used is fiberglass composite material, but other materials such as wood and plastics are employed.
The avionics team works with the flight computers on board the rocket. These systems are used to successfully operate the recovery system and record flight data for analysis.
The recovery team designs and manufactures the main and drogue parachutes for the rocket. This system is imperative to provide safety for this vehicle and its environment as well as make the vehicle reusable.
The Buckeye Space Launch Initiative developed LASR: the Lunar Area Sample Rover for use in this years mission. The vehicle is deployable after the rocket lands, travels via remote control, and then retrieves and stores a soil sample. Below is a breakdown of the sub-teams housed within the payload team.
The LASR vehicle was developed using a pre-built radio-controlled car, which was modified to accommodate the requirements of this mission. Additive manufacturing was used to add a base onto the vehicle for ease of integration.
Sample Collection Sub-Team
A scoop was designed and created using additive manufacturing and has been integrated using a servo motor. The scoop has a storage capsule integrated into the design.
The retention team focuses on ensuring LASR remains stable and safe during the launch and flight of the rocket. Upon landing, LASR must then be able to detach from the rocket and drive out to complete its mission.