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.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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.

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

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

The currently vacant lot on Main Street where a Dairy Queen, retail and residential spaces have been approved to go into. (Town of Oliver)
Main Street in Oliver is getting a Dairy Queen and residential units

Oliver council gave its approval to fill the empty lot with DQ and residential units

A dumpster was on fire behind a residential complex in downtown Penticton Tuesday afternoon. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
Dumpster fire extinguished in downtown Penticton

There has been a string of dumpster fires lately

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Marylou Jensen. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP searching for missing senior

Marylou Jensen left her Grenfell Road home on foot at 5 p.m.

Skogie’s Express Tunnel Wash on Anderson Way in Vernon. (Submitted photo)
Lawsuit dismissed after vehicle damaged while inside Okanagan car wash

Civil Resolution Tribunal dismisses driver’s claim following a collision inside Skogie’s car wash in Vernon

The future of the Eagle Pass Lookout cabin is being discussed. (File photo)
Options presented for future of former Eagle Pass fire lookout in Shuswap

Stakeholders met in 2020 to discuss the restoration, or possible removal of the cabin

(Mayor Cindy Fortin - Peachland)
Peachland mayor declines early vaccination offer

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she wants seniors, immunocompromised individuals to get the shot first

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Most Read