SpaceLex

Projects

Capabilities


Communications and Electronics:

  • We utilize a fully custom, student-made antenna for distanced communication with our rockets and controls.
  • Using a student-made flight computer, we can view all data for the rocket remotely.

 

Payload:

  • Our payload bays boast over 10kg of payload capacity for in-flight research opportunities. Using our specially made locking mechanism, we can ensure that all payloads are completely secure for our flights.

 

Airframe:

  • Using the expertise of our talented materials team, we have developed a specialty zylon composite material capable of surviving up to 30G and temperatures up to 900F. 
  • We utilize a resistance based damage diagnostics system for our airframe for pre-flight checks and in-flight feedback.

 

Recovery:

  • For parachute ejection, our team is one of the first to use a mechanism for CO2 release in the airframe for high altitude flights. This prevents the need for black powder, which can cause damage to the payload and limit reusability for our airframes.
  • Our parachute is sewn by our team using a special nylon material for a highly reliable and smooth recovery.

 

Launch:

  • Using a variety of tested student-made propellants, our solid motors are capable of flights up to 40,000ft and speeds of up to 1000mph in our rockets.
  • In the interest of safety, our launch control system is built with several redundancies and can be controlled from several hundred yards, protecting our members in the unlikely event of a malfunction. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Rockets


Lookout

Our first rocket, Lookout (pictured above), is an 11-foot-tall rocket set to fly to 40,000 ft. Lookout was named after the 1893 Kentucky Derby winner of the same name, and is described as a “Reliable horse that started ahead and stayed ahead.” We found this fitting to our project as we push the boundaries so early in our team’s career. Lookout is made entirely of a specialty Fiberglass composite material for lightweight and flexible maneuverability and uses additively manufactured internal structures for high strength to weight yields. At 40,000 ft, Lookout will release high pressure CO2 into its airframe and release the parachute using a hand made, entirely customized deployment altimeter. We aim to use the payload bay for several tasks including a special ecofriendly tree seed deployment system, and a damage diagnostics system.


 

Whirlaway

Our second rocket, named after the 1941 Triple Crown winner, is a 7ft monument to the skill and diverse education of our engineers. This rocket will attempt to fly at Mach 3, over 2300 mph, and will use the intense G forces to conduct high G research experiments for applications in hypersonic vehicles. Over the past 6 months, we have worked to design the first of it's kind zylon composite material for the airframe, altimeters that can accurately calculate altitude at this speed, student made motor and fuel, and the most aerodynamic rocket body possible in order to accomplish this goal. 

 

 

 


Arcaro

Named after Whirlaway's Jockey in the Triple Crown, Arcaro is the team's first engine build. We have designed it specifically to test experimental cycles and low cost high-temperature materials in liquid rocket engines. Using liquid oxygen and ethanol as our fuel and oxidizer, we aim to create a regeneratively cooled, additively manufactured, expander-cycle 200 lb thrust liquid rocket engine. This engine will be the first liquid rocket engine made by students in the state of Kentucky and we hope to use it to show the skill and dexterity of engineers at UK.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in flying a payload with us? Send us an email at spacelexky@gmail.com!