Saturday November 9 the Rocket Competition Team and other YUAA members gathered at the CEID early at 6 am to travel to the Connecticut Tripoli Rocket Association (CTRA) rocket launch. This day would mark the culmination of countless hours of work put in by the sixteen person team over the past week and a half on their rocket, “Artemis”. After the school bus was loaded, the group headed off to Gill Corn Fields in Hurley New York.
The team arrived at the launch around 9 am, and began to set up for the launch. Though the skies were gray, the overall conditions were beautiful with low winds. After a few minor adjustments, the rocket was ready to launch with a K740 motor. The rocket flew beautifully to 4829 ft. Unfortunately, by the time of the launch, the GoPro had run out of battery, so no footage was recorded, but more importantly the deployment system worked as expected. The siren on the payload proved useful and allowed for the easy recovery of the device.
Finding the rocket after the launch proved slightly more difficult as concerns with the GPS interfering with the altimeter prevented us from tracking the rocket. The team split up, running miles, bushwhacking, and fording rivers to recover the rocket. Finally it was discovered tangled about forty five feet up in a tree. After many attempts throwing weighted ropes members of CTRA were kind enough to lend the group a fifty foot pole. With hours of practice, the rocket recovery group found that by duct taping a rope to the end of the pole, they could wrap the rope around the rocket and pull it down. Some of the couplers were ripped out by the tree, but the rocket was recovered mostly unharmed.
After a long and exciting bus ride, the team returned to Yale. Not only was this day the first rocket launch for many of the members, it was also an opportunity to see the products of their hard work. The team is already looking forward to their next launch, the competition in June!
YUAA would like to thank the people at CTRA for all their help and advice and the local neighbors who aided in the recovery of Artemis. We would also like to thank the companies and organizations who sponsored this rocket: Yale SEAS, Yale UOC, Yale Physics, Aerocon Systems, and SolidWorks.