A group of students at Boston University recently conducted a successful test of a powerful rocket engine designed for 100 kilometers of suborbital flights. Known as the Iron Lotus (although made of mild steel, not iron), this test allowed them to refine the time and refine the design of their engine (also published in Reddit), who hope to eventually turn them into the first collegial group to send a rocket into space.
Unlike solid rocket fuel designs, this engine is powered by liquid fuel, which comes with many challenges that need to be overcome. This is a pressurized engine that includes a non-reactive pressurized gas forcing the propellants, in this case isopropanol and N2O, into the combustion chamber. The team used this design to produce a thrust of 2,553 lb * ft during this test, which seems to be enough to make this a Class P rocket engine. For scale, the highest class used by amateurs is the Class S. The test they use mild steel rather than stainless steel to reduce costs, but they plan to use more durable material in the final product.
The Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group is an interesting student organization that needs to be monitored. With all sorts of pieces of imagination, they are about to make their rocket design fly into space. Don’t forget to check out their other projectsand if you do amateur rocket in general, there is you can do a lot of interesting things even with Class A engines.