Liquid Methane Rocket Is Set To Soar

Solid rockets are a fun way to get started in rocketry. Brewing up a batch of rocket candy is something achievable even in the home lab, and anyone can give it a go with the right materials. Building a flight-capable liquid-fuelled rocket engine is another thing entirely, but the Purdue Space Program is up to the task.

The result of their hard work is Boomie Zoomie, a rocket which stands 15ft tall and weighs 130lbs. With peak thrust of 800 lbs, it’s got plenty of grunt to help get things off the ground. It’s fuelled by liquid methane, a first for a university-built rocket. The craft is constructed out of 6″ aluminium pipe sections, which were a best-case trade-off between weight, cost, and machinability. Special care was taken during the design process to make things modular, to both allow for future design revisions and ease of field prep. This allows different parts of the team to work independently, streamlining the process of preparing the rocket for launch.

Aiming to compete in the FAR MARS liquid rocket competition, the rocket has undergone two successful hotfires. The team estimates that the first launch should happen in the next few months. Preparations are continuing on the launch trailer and ancilliary support equipment to get things up and running. The aim is to reach a lofty altitude of 45,000 feet.

For those interested in a career in rocketry, Purdue may just be the place to be, with over 300 members in its space program. We’ve seen other top-notch collegiate rocket programs, too – such as this Boston University effort that aims to reach space. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Declan for the tip!]

24 thoughts on “Liquid Methane Rocket Is Set To Soar

  1. Brewing up a batch of rocket candy is something achievable even in the home lab, and anyone can give it a go with the right materials.

    Maybe it’s best to take a cue from JPL if you don’t want to burn your house down.

  2. Nice to see something from across the river on HaD. I saw the rig at the celebration and lecture for the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong taking a stroll on the Moon. Go Boilers!

    1. I’m all for metric but feet have become an international convention for altitude measurement and reporting in airspace. I understand that to try and switch to metric now would have an unacceptable risk of aircraft crashes. So as the rocket would be largely travelling in what would be considered airspace altitudes, feet are probably the most appropriate unit, in my opinion.

      1. But we are talking about rockets here, and that means space. Yes, we do pass a short amount of time trough airspace. But the real space “boundary” is 100km. So this ~14km is a long way from it. (See what I did there)

        But the height isn’t the achievement here. It’s the experimental fuel.

    2. Not to be that crazy American, but even though we still use Imperial units at least we can do conceptual math in our heads without complaining…

      45000 ft approximately equals 13 km

    3. Why expect the author to do the conversion for you? Converting from feet to meters is only a few keystrokes away? I’ve had to convert from (kilo-)meters to feet or miles when reading articles measuring in metric. I have an app on my smart phone that does it for you. Easy! And then YOU can post a positive comment instead of a negative one. World peace is the goal here, eh? Get on board, we need your help too! :)

      Peace and blessings.

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