Another great distinction was achieved by ASAT’s Rocketry Department, conquering the 7th place among 25 teams, at the European Rocketry Challenge (EuRoC 2022), which took place on October 11-19 in Ponte de Sor, Portugal. ASAT not only managed to secure a dominant position among the best rocketry teams, being the only Greek participation, but was also the only student team to amaze with two spectacular launches of the same rocket with two different motors.
The rocket, Andromeda, which was designed and built by ASAT during the last year and competed in the Spaceport America Cup competition in June in New Mexico, USA, ranking 13th among 150 teams from around the world, managed to astonish the judges and the contestants once more. Specifically, Andromeda performed two successful launches and recoveries, reaching 3,446m and 4.076m with two types of motors, a Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) and a Student Researched and Developed (SRAD), with minimal to zero damage. The SRAD motor, named Sirius after the constellation of the same name, was designed by ASAT.
The team’s original goal was to compete with its own motor, Sirius. However, due to faulty chemicals, Sirius was deemed unsafe to operate and the team completed the first launch with a COTS motor. The trajectory of the rocket was optimal as was its descent with the parachutes. However, the rocket landed on a tree, rendering the contribution of the fire department necessary for its recovery and due to the collapse of the tree, some material damage was caused. Despite the difficulties, the team’s dedication to their original mission and perseverance were the driving forces that led them not only to successfully repair the damage, but also led to a second launch, with Sirius, within the tight time frame of 3 days.
The outcome could not have been better. ASAT achieved a safe recovery of the second launch as well, which was completed by finding the entire rocket intact. Therefore, the effort to achieve the 2 launches could not be left unpraised by both the competition judges and the rest of the teams.
Also, it is worth mentioning that both launches used SRAD electronic systems and airbrakes, an automatic control system responsible for reaching the desired altitude, which were developed by the team. The aim of the electronic systems was the correct operation of the recovery system with the parachutes and in general to ensure the safe course of the rocket. In particular, the use of airbrakes contributed to the collection of a lot of useful data for their operation and their optimization for future launches.
This year’s participation of ASAT in EuRoC 2022 was truly a unique experience for all team members, who demonstrated that with hard work, desire, passion and cooperation, everything is possible. It didn’t just offer knowledge and skills to its members, it created memories that will accompany them for the rest of their lives.