Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Ad Astra: KU society prepares for blast-off with new rocket projects

By Evie M Barrett Feb 17, 2022
two students holding rocketsKURE showcased their work at Freshers Fair last year. Photo: Sophia Nasif-Whitestone

KU’s Rocket Engineering Society (KURE)is embarking on its highest budget project to date, as it builds multiple new entries in preparation for a year of competitions.

KURE will compete in the nationwide manufacturing competition MACH 2022 this summer, building a rocket and CanSat in the hopes of winning more awards.

“MACH 2022 is the continuation of MACH 2021, a competition in which Kingston won ‘most ambitious’ last year,” said Jez Norwood.

“This year we’re challenging ourselves yet again to be ambitious with a larger team, and are hoping to put up a fight in the competition.”

students holding certificates
KURE members celebrating their previous win at MACH 2021. Photo: Dr Peter Shaw

A team of 12 students led by Norwood and Erika McDowell are currently conceptualising finalised designs for KURE’s MACH 2022 entry, which will survey landscape using image recognition technology to find a ground target and deliver supplies.

Elsewhere, other KURE members are preparing for the UKSEDS Olympus Rover competition also being held this summer, in which a rover for a habitat construction mission on Mars must be designed, constructed, and operated.

“This is one of my first major projects, and I am not only excited about it but also pretty confident because of the support from my seniors,” said Aayush Golwala, who is leading the Rover team alongside Rabab Rajwani.

“I’m really excited about the project,” said Rajwani. “It’s awesome to work with my colleagues and build something tangible.”

Not receiving any additional funding from the society or university however, the Rover team are currently fundraising on KUBacker, hoping to raise enough money to build a prototype, according to Rajwani.

KURE’s third competition entry of the year for the National Rocketry Championship is also in the design process, ready to be launched in April.

“We are building a medium sized model rocket intended to reach a maximum altitude with a small payload,” said Sam Veitch, NRC team co-leader.

“We hope to teach the people in our group about key industrial processes in the Astro workplace, while simultaneously having fun and winning the competition.”

“I cannot thank KURE enough for allowing me to test myself.”

Aayush Golwala

When not preparing for various contests, KURE members can be found hosting Mars Bar, a bi-weekly space and technology discussion event, or creating videos for their YouTube Channel, KURE Tutorials.

“Being a part of KURE gives engineering students a unique opportunity to apply what they have learnt outside of the classroom,” said Rajwani.

“I have always been a space enthusiast but never had the opportunity to build and compete at this level,” said Golwala. “I cannot thank KURE enough for allowing me to test myself.”

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