March 30th marked the first successful deployment of the Astro-Egg Lander from the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association’s YSS Eli Whitney. The YSS Eli Whitney was successfully launched twice from Durham, Connecticut.
The launches involved deploying a two-pound Astro-Egg Lander – an aircraft which uses helicopter-like blades to carry an egg safely back to Earth. The lander successfully deployed at maximum altitude from within the YSS Eli Whitney and began a slow decent back to awaiting YUAA members. Unfortunately, the rotor head sheared apart several hundred feet above the ground and will require a redesign before YUAA’s competition this weekend. The launch is considered a success because it proves that the YSS Eli Whitney’s complex deployment system and the Astro-Egg Lander’s completely custom design are fully functional.
The team was unable to launch their second rocket, the YSS Nathan Hale, due to issues with the hybrid motor. The team, believing that it has resolved the issue, plans to conduct motor tests later this week and launch the YSS Nathan Hale at the competition this weekend.