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What

The Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group is going where no university has gone before. We aim to to successfully launch a rocket to space by 2015 using cutting edge hybrid rocket technology. If successful, we would be the first group ever – professional or otherwise – to put a two-stage hybrid-hybrid vehicle into space.

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The Mk. IV Hybrid Rocket Motor during a static test on March 29th.

The Mk. IV Hybrid Rocket Motor during a static test on March 29th.

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A render of a potential two-stage hybrid motor utilizing the Mk. IV technology developed this academic year.

Who

We take a multidisciplinary approach to our design. We have partnered with the Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS) from Portland State University in Oregon and the Cornell University Rocket Team (CRT) to take full advantages of the strengths of all three programs. While we work on the propulsion systems and logistics, PSAS is hard at work developing a fully functional flight computer and CRT is working with a few of our team members to develop an active fin stabilization system. Combined we’re a group of about 70 students, from several disciplines, both engineering and non-engineering, working together to make history.

Why

Several things are motivating our efforts. Obviously there is the technical aspect of the project. While most large scale amateur rocketry projects take high power work and scale it up, we take professional level work and scale it down. This gives us the opportunity to break new ground and produce a system that is revolutionary in more ways than one. More importantly however, BURPG provides students at BU with a one-of-a-kind opportunity. We take students, including a considerable amount of freshmen, who have little to no experience doing professional design work and give them the skills and tools necessary to succeed. Through our work these students realize that they can actually do this stuff; they can design and build a space vehicle. This not only helps with job hunting Рas many of our members ultimately enter into careers at companies like SpaceX, GE, and Virgin Galactic Рbut with the self-confidence necessary to be a successful engineer.

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