Hybrid rocket built by Texas students sets an altitude record for high school launches

Chris McLeod, instructor for the rocket engineering program at Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas near Houston, sent me the news that the 2022 senior “Goddard Rocket Team”

designed and built an SRAD [student researched and designed] hybrid rocket which launched to a verified 45,482′ AGL (49,523′ MSL). This came within 1% of the 50,000′ ceiling at WSMR [White Sands Missile Range].

The Horizon 1 rocket used  nitrous oxide with a solid 3D printed fuel grain.

The team set a world record for high school rockets:

All information was validated by the U.S. Army at the White Sands Missile Range a few weeks later, “Brazoswood High School set a new world record for altitude achieved by a student-built, hybrid-motor propelled rocket reaching 45,482 feet above ground level, beating Fredericksburg High School’s record of 36,100 feet and earning the the SystemsGo Kepler Award.”

McLeod notes

that this rocket, from research, design, and fabrication, was all completed in just one school year, with just one chance at launch, and that the students themselves learned the machining, composites, and other fabrication required to build the vehicle.

Check out the project website, which includes details of the rocket’s design and construction and also a summary of the flight, which took place on June 26, 2022.

Here are videos of the flight and student activities before and after the launch.

See also their lessons learned and advice to those seeking to break this record.

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