2017 has been a busy year for us. On March 11 we successfully launched Resnik, the first rocket manufactured entirely by us. It reached a maximum speed of 1000 km/h – 80% of the speed of sound – and an apogee of 1930 m. This rocket probably set a new altitude record for amateur rocketry in Spain.
This mission, named after Judith Resnik, an astronaut who lost her life in the Challenger, helped Cosmic Research enter the path to the new student space race we are living. Unofficially, several teams of university students from around the globe race to be the first to launch a rocket into space. Some of these universities are the University of Southern California, the MIT, DELFT (Netherlands) etc. Our intention by sending a rocket into space is no other than to democratize knowledge about rockets and inspire young people.
Going back to 2017, on May 17 we publicly presented Cosmic Research in our university: The School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering of Terrassa (ESEIAAT). This event was an extraordinary success – we filled an auditorium with more than 300 people! Students and teachers were enthusiastic about watching a group of students work to send a rocket into space. Following that event, we decided to accept applications to expand the team. We received many. The team grow from 5 people to more than 15, and today we are 22.
Virtually every seat was taken and some had to remain standing.
After our final exams, we trained the new recruits through seminars organized by the older members. These sessions covered stability, propulsion, electronics and more. As a practical test, we proposed a mission in collaboration with Institut de Terrassa. Together with high school students, we launched a CanSat device at 1500 m. A modest mission that motivated the students and helped us learn as well.
After the summer, we started working on our next rocket, Bondar. Its objectives are to go into the stratosphere (10-15 km) and reach supersonic speeds. In November 2017, we presented our project to the press in a conference held at our university. Announcing our plans to reach space had a huge impact and the national media echoed. We appeared in several of the most read newspapers in Spain, as well as in televisions, radios, websites and magazines. We counted more than 60 appearances. The idea that a group of students wanted to send a rocket into space in 2022 captivated the public.
After that press conference, several companies were interested in the project and contacted us to establish sponsorships for next year. In December, we began conversations with an important entity to launch our next rockets from a safe area.
As we have already said, 2017 has been a busy year for Cosmic Research – although we will work to make 2018 even busier! Our main objective for this year is to launch the Bondar rocket. It is a supersonic solid-propelled rocket, with a length of 2.5 m, that should achieve an apogee of 15 km. If we are successful, we will be on the podium of European competitors in terms of that student space race.
Our initial purpose as an association has not changed. That is to excite and educate the public in space exploration. If you have been motivated or have learned because of us, we thank you. The Cosmic Research team wishes you a happy 2018 and invites you to spread your individual knowledge for the good of all humanity. See you on Earth.
– The members