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Virginia Tech  rocket design team aiming to become the first amateur organization and college to place a payload into Low Earth Orbit.
Virginia Tech rocket design team aiming to become the first amateur organization and college to place a payload into Low Earth Orbit.
41 backers pledged $5,941 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$5,941

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

We are a team of Virginia Tech students whose goal is simple: to put a rocket in space. Specifically, we want to be able to place 5U of CubeSat (7 kg) into Low Earth Orbit with our orbital launch vehicle called Hokie 1. Something like this has never been done before by an amateur organization and it will have huge implications for low-cost access to space. Colleges across the country could follow our lead and develop a method to put satellites and small experiments into space themselves.

The team launching Hokie 0.5 in Nevada (September 2017)
The team launching Hokie 0.5 in Nevada (September 2017)


This will give a serious boost to the space industry and give students who are, like us, extremely passionate about space an opportunity to gain hands-on experience on a project that is directly relevant to their future careers. Initially, our plan of action was not to reach space with our next rocket; however, we are confident in our propulsion system and are going for the space shot with Hokie 0.6.

Like our Facebook page: Orbital Launch Vehicle Team at Virginia Tech

Check out our website:  olvt.org

Hokie 0.6

Model of Hokie 0.6 made in the program SolidWorks
Model of Hokie 0.6 made in the program SolidWorks

The funding we receive here will go specifically to the design and building of our current two-stage rocket, Hokie 0.6, capable of reaching space. If successfully launched in September at BALLS 27 in Nevada, OLVT will become the first undergraduate body to reach space. Hokie 0.6 is a two staged Q to P rocket intended to test avionics, parachute deployment, and structures up to the Karman line. 

Subsystem Breakdown
Subsystem Breakdown

Nose Cone

We are using a conical nose cone due to its ease of manufacturing. Avionics and telemetry will not be stored inside the nosecone, so it is optimized for speed and drag reduction.

Avionics and Telemetry

The brains of Hokie 0.6 consist of two Arduino Megas and two Raspberry Pis for a double redundant avionics system. 9 DOF inertial measurement units, accelerators, barometers, thermometers, and GPS units will collect accurate flight information describing the rocket's trajectory. Hokie 0.6 will use a telemetry system located below the nosecone to send this data back to a ground station during flight.

Fin Design

With a two stage rocket we want as straight of flight path as possible to decrease wind tilt during interstage coasting. We are using trapezoidal wings to decrease overall drag contribution. A 1/3 degree fin will generate a 3-4 Hz spin rate for added stability. 

Propulsion System

We are developing an ammonium perchlorate based propellant following proper safety regulations and precautions. This includes: safety equipment, handling of chemicals, disposing of chemicals, and safely testing any final product. All propellants, formulas, and processes are critiqued by professionals in the field of solid rocket motor propulsion. Furthermore, OLVT strictly adheres to ITAR 120.15.

Cost Breakdown

                               Funding Needed:    $5,838

Current Sponsors

The purpose of this Kickstarter is to fund the parts listed. The rest of our budget has already been funded through Virginia Tech and other companies such as Orbital ATK, SolidWorks, AMW Pro-X, and BurnSim.

 

Past Projects

We have been accomplishing our goals through a stepping stone approach to build up our credibility. The rocket we plan to design and build that will be placed into low earth orbit will be called Hokie 1. Before we can make Hokie 1, we have to prove that our team is capable of launching a rocket into low earth orbit. To prove this, we have started small with Hokie 0.25, 0.5, and now we are making Hokie 0.6.

Hokie 0.25 

A small single stage rocket that was launched multiple times in Blacksburg, Virginia and Maryland with J and K motors. The purpose of these launches were to get members on the team Tripoli high power rocketry certified. This single-stage rocket reached a maximum altitude of 5000 ft and had an installed impulse of 676 Ns.

Hokie 0.25 launched in Maryland (April 2017).
Hokie 0.25 launched in Maryland (April 2017).

Hokie 0.5

A two stage rocket that is similar to our design for Hokie 0.6. The sustainer was launched in Nevada in September of 2017 at BALLS 26 and then both stages were launched in November of 2017 at Kloudbusters. This double-stage rocket reached a maximum altitude of 17,000 ft with an installed impulse of 15,000 N-s.

Hokie 0.5 awaiting launch in Kansas (November 2017)
Hokie 0.5 awaiting launch in Kansas (November 2017)
Hokie 0.5 Design
Hokie 0.5 Design

Risks and challenges

The risks are those related to the rocket launch: it is a very complex procedure whereby every single detail is critical to a successful launch.

However, we have many mentors that are guiding us through the process, teaching us, and checking our work along the way. These mentors consist of Virginia Tech faculty member advisers, high-power rocketry vendors, and professional engineers from Orbital ATK and Ulyssix Technologies, Inc.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    Honorary Hokie

    Thank you so much for supporting the team!

    We will send you a thank you letter via email and add you to our list-serve to keep you updated on the project.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Mercury

    An official OLVT sticker, great for your notebooks, computer, or car

    Thank you letter and list-serve updates via email.

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    8 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    Gemini

    Signed picture of the team with the finished rocket (Launching in September)

    Hand written Thank You Letter

    Official Team Sticker

    Email list-serve updates

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    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $46 or more About $46

    Apollo

    Official OLVT shirt

    Signed picture of the team with the finished rocket (Launching in September)

    Hand written Thank You Letter

    Official Team Sticker

    Email list-serve updates

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $67 or more About $67

    Orange

    3D-Printed Hokie 0.6 Rocket - Miniature Version

    Official OLVT shirt

    Signed picture of the team with the finished rocket (Launching in September)

    Hand written Thank You Letter

    Official Team Sticker

    Email list-serve updates

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Maroon

    Official OLVT hat

    Name written on the final rocket

    3D Printed Hokie 0.6 Rocket - Miniature Version

    Official OLVT shirt

    Signed picture of the team with the finished rocket (Launching in September)

    Hand written Thank You Letter

    Official Team Sticker

    Email list-serve updates

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    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Hokie 1

    Shout out on our Website and Facebook page

    Send your name to space! (You name will be written into our code)

    An official OLVT hat

    Name written on the final rocket

    An official OLVT T-shirt

    Name written on Hokie 0.6 Rocket and written in the code

    3D Printed Hokie 0.6 Rocket - Miniature Version

    Signed picture of the team with the finished rocket (Launching in September)

    Hand written Thank You Letter

    Official Team Sticker

    Email list-serve updates

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Artis Sponsorship

    OLVT engraved Hokie Stone with your name - great for decoration or desk name plate

    Send your name to space! (You name will be written into our code)

    Shout out on our Website and Facebook page

    Official OLVT hat

    Name written on the final rocket

    Official OLVT T-shirt

    Name written on Hokie 0.6 Rocket and written in the code

    3D Printed Hokie 0.6 Rocket - Miniature Version

    Signed picture of the team with the finished rocket (Launching in September)

    Hand written Thank You Letter

    Official Team Sticker

    Email list-serve updates

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    6 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)