New Mexico Tech Students Launch Experimental Rocket

April 16, 2019

Tech students perform another successful Mustang launch at Spaceport America

Image of rocket launching from pad

Spaceport America, NM – The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) Rocket Team launched the latest of its student rockets from the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area Saturday.

The rocket was developed jointly by NMT and White Sands Research and Developers (WSRD). Measuring 11 feet long by 6.1 inches in diameter, the mission was similar to last year’s with the rocket reaching an altitude of approximately 23,500 ft MSL and a speed of Mach 1.2. The Mustang VI-BX mission was the first Mustang mission designed around an experiment. The 6BX flew with an all-aluminum nose tip that formed the business end of an innovative airspeed and angle-of-attack sensor, both designed and built by the students. NMT students performed wind tunnel testing pre-mission to calibrate the instrument and students will be busy post-mission analyzing the data they collected during the flight.

Students working on the project consisted primarily of junior and senior students from NMT’s Design Clinic courses. NMT’s students have been building and flying rockets as part of the Design Clinic since 2012. They have partnered with WSRD since 2014, and on the Mustang rocket since 2016. These students developed most of the Mustang’s on-board systems including the separation, recovery, and data acquisition systems.

“Today, NMT students demonstrate the highest levels of professionalism and operational prowess. What is all the more impressive is that they pull it off at zero dark thirty,” says Dr. Jaramillo, Technical Director of WSRD.

NMT mechanical engineering student and rocket team co-lead James Nolan said, “The team performed very well, and everyone worked together to make sure the launch went smoothly. We look forward to launching with WSRD again.”