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Student Rocket Launch a Success

June 29, 2012

A Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket carrying the experiment of four Drexel Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Students blasted off from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility at 6:40 a.m. this morning.

Kelly Collett, Christopher Elko, Danielle Jacobson and their advisor Dr. Jin Kang, of the Drexel Space Systems Laboratory were on hand to watch the rocket carrying their experiment take flight.  The launch was expected at 6 a.m., however, it was delayed to allow boats moving through the danger zone to clear the area.

“Before it launched we were all really anxious, but as soon as it went of it was the coolest thing,” Collett said. “It was the most incredible experience of my life,” she added.

The rocket contained 17 educational experiments from universities around the country. Among them, was the Drexel team’s piezoelectric cantilevers experiment designed to test the feasibility of using piezoelectric materials to convert vibrations in to storable energy. The rocket is capable of reaching speeds up to 2,902 mph. It will complete its mission and return to earth where NASA will collect the experiments for delivery to the students for analysis. To view photos of the team and the rocket, click here.