Florida Tech launches first student-built rocket from Cape Canaveral

Jun 29, 2006

Amid victory yells, a Florida Institute of Technology student-developed and built Pathfinder vehicle launched yesterday at 2:30 p.m. from Launch Complex 47 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The rocket, dubbed "Panther 1" for the Florida Tech mascot, followed a perfect parabolic path to splash down in the Atlantic as planned. The team, with assistance from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), achieved the first student launch from the site.

The students are involved in Florida's Space Pioneer Cup. This is a university competition to launch a student-designed and built rocket into space and a way to involve students in the "real-world" rocket launch process.

"Future plans for the Pioneer Cup include additional Florida universities in the competition and possibly growth into a national event," said Glenn Vera, deputy director at the Florida Space Authority (FSA). The competition is co-sponsored by the Florida Space Authority and the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing with funding from the Florida Department of Education. Expertise and launch support assistance is also provided by the Florida Space Grant Consortium and the Florida Space Institute.

"We are excited to be involved in developing the next generation of rocket scientists and technicians," said Capt. Winston Scott, executive director of the FSA and a Florida Tech faculty member.

The Florida Tech and ERAU students have developed and flown numerous test vehicles since last year's competition announcement. The universities have also reached out to include high school and middle school students in their projects through tours, program briefings and participation in rocket design reviews.

The FSA is working closely with 45th Space Wing Range Safety to develop a Pioneer Cup rulebook that details the critical design parameters and information, which student teams must supply in order to obtain acceptance for flight on the Eastern Range.

Source: Florida Institute of Technology

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Orion test sets stage for ESA service module

Dec 08, 2014

Today's flight and splashdown of NASA's first Orion spacecraft paves the way for future human exploration beyond low orbit powered by ESA's European Service Module.

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

Dec 19, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

Dec 19, 2014

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.