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This university is a Liquid Rocket Lab preparing for the March Showdown

Since 1942, when Wernher von Braun launched a 2-ton liquid-propelled rocket (and a deadly V2 missile) into space, there were more than 5,000 rocket launches, many of NASA, some of the Chinese and Russian space agencies, and more and more SpaceX other commercial companies in the field of space.

The Liquid Rocket Lab in Cal Poly Pomona wants to be the first university team to rise above 45,000 feet and into space in the future.

CPP Liquid Rocket Lab PCMag was invited to meet the Bronco team's missile, the aerospace team, and the head of Dr. Bronco. Frank Chandler, an assistant at an engineering school who teaches aerospace design, propulsion and computational fluid dynamics.

"I'm out of it [1950s] October sky "Professor Chandler said in an interview with PCMag when we arrived." Inspired by the first sputnik Sputnik, who got into the rocketry. I spent 40 years in the aerospace industry, first at Rockwell International and Boeing just when they finished the Apollo program. During this time I worked on many NASA programs, including space shuttle, mission support, rocket attack analysis to make sure astronauts who went upstairs are back. "

At the Aerospace Engineering conference hall, we sat on a briefing from Dr. Chandler to the 70-member team subgroup: Richard Picard, Alfredo Herrera, Tatsuya Danno, Colby Truong, Eric Gonzalez, and David David Montes – all students of aerospace, engineering, mathematics or physics.

Then we all went to Building 13, where Structures Lab is located. It is a large hangar building full of rocket equipment: tools, sensors, hoses, cryogenic rocket transport valves, nasal cones, parachutes, tail fins, and wood-based materials to high-tech carbon fibers on various work desks.

Bronco 1 is currently divided into pieces because the team is working on it. But for a full stretch, it is 15 feet tall, weighs 115 pounds, has a liquid and methane engine, aluminum / glass glass skin, and is funded by a $ 1.67 million donation from the National Resources Resources Foundation.

Here are some teams that talk about their areas of responsibility at Bronco 1:

Alfredo Herrera on Bronco Electronics 1:

Colby Truong on the Bronco liquid propulsion system 1:

Eric Gonzalez on the Bronca 1:

Richard Picard on the Bronco 1:

Tatsuya Danno on the Bronco 1:

Bronco 1 has passed several tests last year, including one at the beginning of this year in the Lucerne Dry Lake Launch area in the Mojave desert center at an altitude of 2848 feet.

"That night, the test team stayed in the lab too late to do the tests before the test," Alfredo Herrera told us. "Then we set off for 4 hours in the truck we lent from the Engineering School, for security reasons, the rocket was split and we assembled it on the spot."

"The fragile components we put into the Pelican protective sleeves," added Richard Picard. "Others are in the back of the truck."

CPP Liquid Rocket Lab Test, Desert Mojave (photo by Mark Murphy)

When they arrived in the desert Mojave several hours later, the team stepped out of their fleet and got into the formation, each subgroup with their own task list. They worked for more than two hours until they were ready to take them to the launch rails.

"[We] went up to the Rangemaster, told him which washer we were about to run, stand there, adjust the altimeters, and run back to the safe distance, "said Picard.

Satisfied that all security checks were made, the Rangemaster initiated a countdown, and Bronco 1 rose. Here is video clip from the day shot by a Eric Gonzalez team member on the phone. If you're at work, put down the speakers – that's it loud.

"Then we all prayed for the parachute to open," said Tatsuya Danno. "You begin to see how it turns and then pop – it's a wonderful feeling." The parachute has an attached GPS transmitter so the team could find a rocket and return it back to the lab.

Bronco 1 is constantly undergoing testing. "Our next test will be the first test of hot fire engines," explains David Montes. Each part of the rocket needs testing, and it is the easiest – and more efficient – to isolate each one. "

"We have to make sure our electronics can handle cryogenic temperatures," said Gonzalez, "and that all the installations and parts are working properly." Another test environment will be on the premises with at least two dozen components – including solenoids, valves – and flowing liquid nitrogen, up to minus 286 [F] to ensure that they are not frozen under these conditions. "

if you follow CPPLRL on Twitter they will post updates from this test day and report to the team.

Afterwards, everything is focused on one goal: FAR-Mars Launch Competition March 2-3, 2019. Together sponsored by Mars (Denver) and Friends of Amateur Rocketry (California), this year's Mojave desert was held, but no one cost $ 100,000.

"It's because launching a rocket with more than 45,000 feet is a very difficult and difficult task," Professor Chandler explained. "But if a team does it, it's in 2019. It's a big group of engineers. I think everyone should go to college and I know they have a great career in the aviation industry."

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