After several delays British students with KRUPS or Kentucky Reentry's Universal Payload System launched a large-scale reentry capsule into space from a NASA base in Virginia on Sunday.
The design was created after years of diligent work, test launches and improvements. The start hoped to provide needed data such as re-entry temperatures and the durability of the materials.
Unfortunately, the team was unable to recover the vehicle or data to take the project to the next level: orbital flights.
The team has received good news. The members were able to verify the subsystems during the experiment. These subsystems include electronics, release mechanism, internal housing, communication, and the reentry vehicle.
"Reviewing the subsystems brings the experiment closer to validating that the whole system works in microgravity environment," said Devin Sparks, a student of the Master of Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a doctoral student lead the project
System Validation will improve the technology status of the project, bringing the project closer to starting an orbital flight from the International Space Station. At the moment, the future of the project must focus on data recovery.
"This introduction was a great learning experience for all involved students," said Sparks. "We expected to have a completely successful mission, but transferring data at high speeds can be a difficult task."
Sparks said the team will prepare for the next launch, learn from the mistakes of the past, and help the next group of students make the adjustments necessary for full success.