STES’s Rocketry team bags 5 awards at international meet

ST CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 22 July 2019

Shubhendu Kurmude said, “The sounding rocket stays on Earth’s atmosphere and is used to test various components like temperature and pressure, which are related to the atmosphere."

PUNE: The Sinhgad Technical Education Society’s (STES) Rocketry team of 30 students have recently returned home after winning five awards at the Spaceport America Cup 2019, held at Las Cruces between June 17-22.

The team has designed a sounding rocket, APJ 2.0, with a functional payload. The rocket was named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam, as a tribute to India’s missile man, said the students. This is the second team from the institution, which has made it to the competition.

Team Captain Shubhendu Kurmude said, “The sounding rocket stays on Earth’s atmosphere and is used to test various components like temperature and pressure, which are related to the atmosphere. We devised a vibrational damper using a magnetorheological fluid in our sounding rocket. When a rocket is launched, several vibrations occur. We have tried to dampen this vibration.”

The competition aimed to launch a sounding rocket to an altitude of 10,000 feet or 30,000 feet apogee and recover it. The team managed to launch a sounding rocket with scientific payloads crossing over 9,900 ft high. 

The team received various awards and recognitions, which included ‘On Spot Recognition Award’ for being technically strong, ‘Social Media Award’ for team’s social media handle, ‘Ductus Exemplo Award’ for team leadership and ‘Cognita Per Experientiam Award’ for operating using safety equipment all the time.

The team competed against 14 colleges from across the world like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech and Stanford University among others.  

The students have expressed that they wish to launch a start-up, which will conduct workshops for school children. “In foreign countries, school children are well aware of rocket science. Whereas in India, the concept is still not very familiar among students. We want to reach out to these students and make them aware of this technology,” said Kurmude.

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