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A Record-Breaking Rocket Launch

A Record-Breaking Rocket Launch
University group to launch the most advanced amateur rocket.

Boston University has taken hands-on learning to new heights, in every sense of the word. Thanks to this college group, traditional extracurricular activities are now a thing of the past. The Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group (BURPG) is an undergraduate research group that designs, manufactures, and launches amateur hybrid rockets. Founded in 2003, BURPG connects students of all fields with the tools and resources needed to fully develop their skills and grow as engineers. The group is staffed by a team of 25 undergraduate and graduate students of all skill levels and GPAs.

Starscraper is the group’s current project. It is a sub-orbital launch vehicle that will reach a peak altitude about 140 km and subsequently returning to the earth’s surface safely. After 3 years of working on its hybrid rocket technology, Starscraper is projected to launch July of 2015 in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Its launch hopes to break five world records, including: first amateur rocket in space and highest altitude achieved by a hybrid rocket.

Thanks to BURPG, undergraduates at Boston University have a one of a kind opportunity to develop fully-functioning hybrid rockets as well as the electronics and support systems that operate them. “This type of proactive learning breaks the paradigms of traditional classroom education by allowing students to contribute right away, not waiting until graduation to be able to take part in a project of such professional magnitude.” BURPG Director Armor Harris stated. Harris is one of the group’s founders who began his space journey by building rockets out of his garage. With the Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group, Harris and his team have come a long way, affiliating with more than 13 aerospace firms including: Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and GE Aviation.

Assisting their efforts for a successful launch, GSE has jumped in the Starscraper fun by becoming a sponsor to this exciting endeavor. GSE will also be donating one of their GSatMicro units to be launched along with the vehicle, this coming summer. The GSatMicro will be essential for tracking Starscaper’s latitude, longitude, altitude and speed and through its takeoff, flight and return to the earth’s surface. The GSatMicro is the smallest self-contained tracker in the world, using the most advanced low-earth orbiting satellite network in existence: Iridium.

BURPG is entirely funded on private sponsors and donations. Their support community consists of companies like GSE, who believe in what they do and support the group through contributions. The launch of Starscraper will make the Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group the first university group to ever enter space. If you would like to have a part in this ground-breaking project, don’t hesitate to contribute and becoming a sponsor by emailing terrierrocket@gmail.com

 Visit BURPG

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