For the 2017 NASA Student Launch Initiative, the NC State High Powered Rocketry Team was presented with several different challenges. The team opted for the scenario that required the launch vehicle achieve an altitude of exactly 5,280ft before deploying a recovery device and descending safety back to the ground, deploy a rover and finally deploy solar panels. To accommodate the added complexity and weight of a rover, the team opted for a larger vehicle design with a proposed length of 9ft and a tube diameter of 7.5in. To keep the vehicle weight down, the construction material, blue tube was selected as opposed last year's fiber glass body tube design. During the launch vehicle's descent, a tube mounted inside the vehicle, containing the rover will be ejected from the rocket body. The rover housing has been designed to rotate freely on ball bearings within the body tube. It is weighted in such a way that upon landing the rover will be able to exit the rover housing in the correct orientation. The rover itself will be shell shaped, 3D printed, and is designed to travel the required straight-line distance of 5ft via a single motor powering a set of treaded tracks. After achieving the required footage, the rover will deploy a set of flexible solar panels stored inside the track housings. The team is excited to break ground on this project and is looking forward to another great year.
Click here to view the proposal.