PHOTO SUBMITTED READY TO LAUNCH A rocket designed and built by a team from the University of British Columbia was launched in the Spaceport America Cup last month. UBC Rocket was one of more than 110 post-secondary teams from 11 countries competing in the challenge.

Rocket team rises to first-place finish

Summerland graduate part of winning team in international competition

Black Press

A Summerland Secondary School graduate was part of a winning team in a recent rocket competition in New Mexico.

Simon Bambey, a second-year student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, was one of the founders of UBC Rocket, one of more than 110 post-secondary teams from 11 countries competing in the Spaceport America Cup.

The team consisted of 60 active student members who worked from September to June designing and building the rocket.

When it was completed, the rocket stood 2.5 metres tall, with a diameter of 17 centimetres. It weighed 25 kilograms.

“We designed and built everything,” Bambey said.

The body tube was built from carbon fibre and the unit structure was mostly aluminum. The nose cone, roughly 40 centimetres long, was made using a three-dimensional printer at the university. It took six days to print out the nose cone.

The only part of the rocket the team did not build was the fuel supply. This was solid fuel in an aluminum case, which was available commercially.

Bambey estimates the rocket is worth between $5,000 and $10,000.

In addition, the team members spent plenty of time in creating the rocket. By the end, Bambey was working seven days a week on the project, spending time every evening after class and during much of the weekend.

At the competition, Bambey and his teammates competed to get their rocket to 10,000 feet or 3,048 metres.

Their rocket attained an altitude of 10,053 feet or 3,064 metres.

Bambey is studying engineering physics at the university and would like to have a career in rockets in the future.

He said rocketry fascinates him, partly because of the engineering and precision involved.

“There’s a lot to optimize,” he said. “For a launch to go well, everything has to go right. There’s really no margin for error. There’s no room to take a shortcut.”

Canadian university-level rocketry teams have been performing exceptionally well for many years, Bambey said. However, there is a challenge for Canadians who wish to work in rocketry.

“A lot of American companies are prohibited from hiring people from abroad, even from Canada,” he said. “I’d love to see rocketry grow in Canada.”

Spaceport America, where the competition was held, has been described as the world’s first purpose-built spaceport.

The Spaceport America Cup is designed around the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition, for student teams from around the world.

There are categories for teams to launch rockets to 10,000 and 30,000 feet.

For next year, Bambey would like the UBC Rocket team to enter the 30,000-foot category in the competition.

 

PHOTO SUBMITTED TEAM EFFORT Simon Bambey of Summerland, sixth from right, was one of the founders of UBC Rocket. The team won in the Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico last month.

Just Posted

Princeton pot plant getting ready to hire

Princeton’s newest employer - which promises to be one of its biggest… Continue reading

Callan Rd. to have intermittent closures on Feb. 16

The closures could delay traffic up to 20 minutes, no exact times for the closures were listed

Nothing instant about this Okanagan restaurant’s “ramen risotto”

This Miradoro dish is not your dorm room ramen

Osoyoos surveying residents on new recycling pick-up policy

Residents will no longer be able to use the blue bags for recycling as of July 1

Access Goes Disco raises $5,000 for Access Centre

The Valentine’s Day event at the Barking Parrot was a resounding success

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Man and woman shot in targeted incident in Kamloops

The shooting happened yesterday afternoon

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read