During 2021, ASAT’s team managed not only to be accepted, but also to distinct in the world’s largest interuniversity rocketry competition, Spaceport America Cup (SAC) 2021. The competition’s goal is to design, manufacture and launch a rocket at an apogee of 10,000ft or 30,000ft, with the safest possible recovery. In this context, student teams from all over the world launch every year solid, liquid and hybrid engine rockets.
ASAT’s Rocketry Project, which consists of 28 members, managed to be one of the teams to be accepted and participate in the competition during 2021. Students from the Faculty of Engineering and other departments worked hard to achieve this participation, during which they had the chance to showcase both their skills and the important research work that the academic community in Greece is able to offer.
This year, due to the COVID-19 circumstances, SAC was held online on June 18-20, with ASAT presenting its own rocket on June 18th. A total of 140 teams were accepted in the competition and 76 finally participated, out of which 18 were from European countries and only 2 from Greece.
ASAT, and more specifically the Rocketry Project, “traveled” to SAC with the rocket SELENE, which was designed with a solid propellant to launch at an apogee of 10,000ft. This rocket incorporates a COTS solid fuel engine and many other innovations. For instance, it contains a unique payload which can be released and retrieved independently measuring the percentages of radioactivity from the moment it launches together with the rocket until it lands, thus contributing to a research experiment.
ASAT, with the rocket SELENE, managed to achieve a high distinction, winning the 9th place in the 10,000ft COTS category among 36 teams, collecting 853.7 points. Furthermore, in the final global ranking, the team emerged in the 20th place out of 76 teams, receiving many positive comments. The Poster Session Video Presentation, which was submitted to the judging committee before the beginning of the competition, also made a great impression, collecting 187.5 points out of 200.
Last but not least, a significant milestone was that the Avionics sub-system completed a technical presentation for the Podium Presentation Sessions of the competition, which focused on the SRAD (Student Research and Designed) telemetry system developed by the team’s members.
Following the end of the competition, ASAT’s team is now very close to completing the SELENE rocket. The rocket is almost ready to launch, as all sub-systems have completed the greatest part of their testings. During the next months, the team aims at presenting all the processes that led to the successful construction of SELENE.
We would also like to congratulate the team Aspire from the University of Western Macedonia, which won the 3rd place out of the 8 teams in their category and the 39th out of 76 teams in the overall ranking.
The next goal for the Rocketry Project is the European Rocketry Competition (EuRoC) 2021, which will be held in Ponte de Sor, Portugal on October 11-17, 2021. The team, after the construction of SELENE, will have the opportunity to launch the rocket in Portugal and claim another distinction, this time in Europe. ASAT has already won an important title for the Greek academic community, as it is the only Greek team out of the 20 that have been selected to participate in the EuRoC competition this year.
If you are fascinated by the space sector and want to see in person our team’s high-power rocket, SELENE, you can visit us in the Pavilion 14 (Academia) of the 85th Thessaloniki International Fair, from Saturday September 11th until Sunday September 19th. We are looking forward to meeting you in person!