Launch: Rocket Team's Spring Semester Finale

For our final launch of the semester, the Tufts SEDS rocketry team returned to Kingston, RI. Unfortunately, increasing winds and thick clouds lowered the ceiling to 1,700 feet, limiting us to the three lowest-powered rockets of the eight we had ready.

The first launch proceeded nominally before drifting nearly half a mile downrange into a dense forest. The next launch suffered a parachute deployment failure due to an improperly timed delay and excessive twisting, but the member received his NAR L1 certification on the subsequent second attempt. The final launch also suffered a parachute deployment failure, this time due to a faulty chute release.

Despite these somewhat disappointing results, we demonstrated unprecedented efficiency in our pre-launch flow: by incorporating lessons learned throughout the year, we reduced our preparation time at the launch site by 90% from our first launch of the school year (October 2022). We also gained more experience and validated our simulations for high winds (20 mph at ground level, 50+ mph at apogee) and high launch angles (15 to 20 degrees from vertical). The five unflown rockets will launch at the first opportunity in the fall!

Nico Moldovean
April 22, 2023
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