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NASA Student Launch

Research-based, competitive and experiential exploration project that provides relevant and cost-effective research and development to support reusable rocket and payloads systems.This project is supported by the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and U.S aerospace industry, and is a NASA conducted engineering design challenge.

In this design competition, NASA challenges students to design a rocket capable of reflying to hold a payload that upon landing, is capable of autonomously receiving RF commands and performing a series of tasks with an onboard camera. KXR will compete in the NASA Student Launch, building a solid motor rocket that will deliver a payload to an apogee altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above ground level.

NASA Student Launch 2023

Preliminary Design Review
Critical Design Review
Flight Readiness Review


The main focus of this project was mechatronics development. The "PILL", or Payload Integrated Launch Log, featured a 3D-printed self-orienting mechanical design, encasing a computer and autonomous camera system. This computer was programmed to track acceleration during flight, deploy the camera using a lead screw mechanism, take photos, interpret radio commands, and alter the photos accordingly.

The airframe consisted of carbon fiber tubes, a fiberglass coupler and nosecone, all manufactured with wet-lay technique, and a machined metal nosecone tip.

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