Blast off!

The OU Planetary Robotics Student Team are in New Mexico to compete in the Spaceport America Cup 2019, the world’s premier student rocket competition.

121 others teams from all over the globe will be taking part in New Mexico, USA. Currently the competition is in its third year, but this is the first team from the OU to take part, following Sheffield University who was the first UK team to take part last year.

The students, led by Lead Systems Engineer Rob Adlard, are aiming to launch their 4m rocket to an altitude of 3km, reaching speeds of over 700 mph!

The rocket houses science experiments in a cubesat format, including the work of OU PhD student Vincent Deguin. Vincent is investigating how small icy particles effectively ‘stick’ together in microgravity, and the project is a proof of concept of a novel method of investing aspects of his research; the early formation of planets.

The OU Planetary Robotics Student Team have previously created an analogue Mars rover, and this is their first attempt at this competition. Around 20 students were involved in developing their own experiments in the rocket, with 4 members currently in New Mexico.

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