On Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 09:56 PDT, a rocket, carrying a payload built by students from Kentucky Space, was successfully launched outside Mojave, California. The mission designated, Prospector 12A, was a sub-orbital test flight conducted to verify liquid fueled propulsion technologies being developed by Garvey Spacecraft. The payload was designed and built by Kentucky students to precisely measure details of the trajectory of the rocket in flight. The payload was successfully recovered and data analysis of the flight data has begun.
Students from Kentucky Space worked with engineers from Garvey Spacecraft and students and faculty from California State University Long Beach and Stanford University on Friday, October 10th to integrate the Kentucky payload atop the 23.8 foot, 25 inch diameter, rocket.
At 09:56 PDT on October 11, the rocket was launched from the edge of the Koehn Dry Lake Bed, 25 miles northeast of Mojave California. Analysis continues on the data recovered from the computers on-board the Kentucky payload, but initial review shows very detailed information on the performance and trajectory of the rocket. The Kentucky Space payload included an inertial measurement unit (IMU) consisting of accelerometers and gyroscopes on three axes that allow the motion of the rocket in 3-dimensions to be precisely measured. With this data the students will be able to recover details of the motion of the rocket throughout its flight with a sub-millisecond resolution. This mission marked another significant milestone for Kentucky Space and provided students with invaluable hands-on experience as they continue to develop technologies for future sub-orbital and orbital space missions.
Kentucky Space Consortium Members are: University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, University of Louisville, Murray State University, Western Kentucky University, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Kentucky Space Grant Consortium, Belcan, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (Managing Partner).
Further details and pictures can be found at http://www.kentuckyspace.com.