SLP 04-08-18-9264.jpg


September 2017 - April 2018


The NASA USLI competition is two to three university challenges hosted by NASA that culminates in a week-long event in Huntsville, Alabama. The proposed challenge for 2018 that our team focused on involved launching a rocket to at least a mile high while carrying a rover payload that would deploy once back on ground. All major systems were designed, fabricated, and tested ourselves.

My Role:

As a more experienced member of the project, I offered guidance and mentor-ship to younger members. I helped design the launch vehicle layout, and provided logistical input when determining test launch plans and safety procedures. I reviewed designs for both the rocket body and payload designs and offered my input and critique.

Project Results:

This rocket was designed to separate into two separate sections, and to have three parachutes. A drogue parachute deploys at apogee (~5300 feet), then the rocket separates into two sections under their own parachutes at 800 feet. One section houses the payload, which was designed to be deployed on the ground using a pneumatic piston of sorts.

The rover payload (picture 3 above) was designed to roll 5 feet from the rocket after deployment and relay its position to the ground station.

At the competition, the rocket launch itself was fully successful and all sections of the rocket separated properly and safely fell under parachute. The rover payload did not successfully deploy from the rocket section, however, so points were only given for the launch vehicle. Our team did not place, but we believe we improved our capabilities compared to our previous years!

Skills Learned:

  • Refined skills with a desktop CNC, Laser Cutter, and 3D Printer

  • Organized and managed large group trips and project meetings


©2018 by David Siegel