Students build the highest-flying liquid-fueled rocket ever made by college students

Students build the highest-flying liquid-fueled rocket ever made by college students

Nine Embry-Ruddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, Arizona) students were responsible for launching a rocket in April that has set a milestone for student-led projects. The team of undergraduates, who call themselves the Cygnus Suborbitals, blasted the vehicle off the ground in April. Deneb from the Friends of Amateur Rockerty facility in the Mojave Desert (California) and the results were a success.

The heat shield has been named Pridwen after King Arthur's shield.

The launch took place at 9:42 AM (local time), last April 16, 2023. On the mission, Deneb had a total burn time of 26.1 seconds, which it used to reach an altitude of 14.55 kilometers at a maximum speed of 1,851 km/h.

In a post on the University’s blog, they have listed the operation as. the “highest amateur liquid rocket launch by college students in the United States.” The previous record had been as high as 6.7 kilometers, so this flight has surpassed it with more than half the distance.

The team devoted about 4,000 hours in the last year. to the project, between design, construction and various tests. After hard work, the students spent one night longer than expected in the Californian desert because there were three unsuccessful attempts on the first day of launch.


The Cygnus Suborbitals

As mentioned above, the students chose to call themselves ‘Cygnus Suborbitals’. The reason for this was that the star to which the rocket is named, Deneb, is the brightest in a constellation called Cygnus.

“I fell to my knees, sobbing, witnessing such an incredible feat,” recounts Dalton Songer, group leader and aerospace engineering student. Everyone was celebrating in a giant group hug. That moment was special. Something that only happens when a dedicated group of people come together and make something amazing happen against all odds.

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Kayleigh Williams