Rocket Team Conducts Successful Flight


The University of Minnesota’s Rocket Team is celebrating a successful year, having competed at IREC and winning first place in their category. Out of the nine teams that participated in the 30,000 ft. Student Researched and Developed (SRAF) solid motor category, only three teams had a successful launch.

IREC is an annual competition where student teams attach a 4kg payload to a rocket that must reach a specific altitude. The categories for the competition are commercial off-the-shelf motor, SRAD solid, and SRAD hybrid/liquid. Each propulsion category is also split into 10,000 feet or 30,000 feet. The competition started with a poster presentation day, followed by the first launch day. The Minnesota team reached an altitude of 27,800 feet and the rocket only suffered minor damage, making it the most successful IREC for the team in years.\

The Minnesota team’s rocket had a 6 inch diameter and was 13.3 feet tall. Students created the rocket out of carbon fiber, and fiberglass for RF transparency. Students also developed a propellant formulation, from which the motor was able to produce almost 1000lbs of thrust for 8 seconds.

While the payload for the rocket not recovered, the team was pleased that the parafoil seemed to open.  Apart from IREC, the team also created a high altitude rocket. While they did not use this rocket for the competition, it managed to reach an altitude of 44,900 feet and a speed of Mach 3.3, which is the new club record.

Rocket Team 2019