Shooting for the Moon

Shooting for the Moon
Shooting for the Moon

The ANU Rocketry team has proven that achieving success in their first ever competition really is rocket science!

Over the Easter long weekend, 13 members of the ANU Rocketry team took to the stratosphere at the Australian Universities Rocketry Competition (AURC) in Westmar, Queensland.

The team placed a close second in the flight performance category at 10,130ft, only 1ft behind the competition winner, The University of Queensland.

They also placed third overall in the 10,000ft competition, and were within the 1.3% of the target altitude - an extraordinary achievement for a team that launched their first rocket just three months ago.

The team’s rocket, Astra, carried a 4kg payload – consisting of a prototype UV spectrograph built by researchers at ANU. The mission was to measure the change in UV light as the rocket ascended into the atmosphere.  

Established in September 2018, with the initial goal to compete in the AURC, the team already has a diverse, multidisciplinary group of 30 students from across the university .

Broden Diggle, Director of ANU Rocketry, was thrilled with the outstanding performance so early in the club’s infancy.

“Getting to this stage in only 6 months has been very challenging, but immensely rewarding. Doing something in the real-world, outside the scope of typical university projects, and outside our discipline and expertise, and with rockets, has been very exciting.”

Consisting of mostly undergraduate students from the College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Science and the College of Business and Economics, the group outperformed larger and more established teams, all while maintaining a ‘safety first’ culture and encouraging an ethos of diversity and fun.

“The feeling of seeing the team’s hard work take off into the sky is indescribable – it’s such a fantastic feeling” said Diggle.

The team’s success was partly due to the guidance of Dr Lachlan Blackhall whose continued support, advice and mentorship proved to be invaluable.

Encouraged by the initial success, Diggle is looking to “the future competitions, reviewing our processes, lessons learned and how we can improve along the way”.

“I’m looking forward to see what’s next for ANU Rocketry – this is only the beginning”.

The mission of ANU Rocketry is to provide students the opportunity to design, manufacture, launch and promote aerospace technology. If you want to find out more or get involved, visit their website  or Facebook page.

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