‘Just awesome’: Students celebrate successful launch of payload on NASA rocket
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The hard work of UH students took centerstage this week at a NASA facility. Not only was their experiment strapped to a rocket, but it could go a long way in changing space travel.
“I could give some poetic speech similar to JFK”s to the moon speech or cite some other poetry, but to put simply, just very awesome,” said University of Hawaii student project manager Jared Estrada.
The rocket launched earlier this week at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and strapped to its side ― the creation from Project IMUA.
The team of 20 UH students, one of six collegiate groups around the nation, was tasked with developing a payload for space flight.
IMUA’s experiment, known as Discover, focused on the propulsion properties of camphor.
“Ultimately, we were trying to calculate the specific impulse of camphor,” Estrada explained.
“Yes, a very fancy statement, but basically, we want to know the acceleration that camphor provides in Discover itself. That way we can find thrust in that kind of thing.”
This marked the fourth time a Project IMUA experiment was launched into space.
Estrada, a recent UH grad and physics major, says the team has sky high aspirations and hopes to apply the propulsion technology to drone flights and NASA equipment.
“When an astronaut goes into space and they have those backpacks on and they shoot jets of air, or gas, not necessarily air, it supplies a force for them to move around,” Estrada said.
“Ultimately, we’re looking at trying to find a material that can provide a better means of thrust so astronauts can move around better.”
Until then, prepare for more of their creations to soar.
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