April 15, 2024

The Ridgeway Rocket Membership staff of Ben Wigley, Sanjay Bala and (my son) John Brice, received the Worldwide Youth Rocketry Problem on the Paris Airshow final week. After beating 180 different UK groups at UKROC to qualify, they then beat one of the best groups from the USA, France and Japan. I sponsored and mentored the staff this yr and the yr earlier than. The staff positioned ninth general within the UK at their first try, final yr. Airbus was the primary sponsor for UKROC and their journey to Paris.

The rocket was designed and constructed from scratch by the staff, with numerous 3d printer and laser reduce elements. The highest tube is a Pringles can (robust, low-cost and filled with yummy pringles)! We used a Cesseroni F Basic stable gas motor for the launch.

The outcomes had been scored on a mixture of flight (60%) and technical presentation (40%).

The flight mission was for the rocket to succeed in 850 toes, cut up into 2 sections and land the nostril part in 42 to 45 seconds with an intact uncooked egg. The UK staff managed 872 toes top and ~38 seconds period with an intact egg. A French policewoman by chance elbowed the rocket on the way in which to the launch, so it was a very good job they made the fins tremendous robust!

The UK staff obtained a powerful 58 out of a potential 60 factors on the presentation.

I’m very happy with what the boys achieved and it was such an incredible expertise. VIP all the pieces and the staff obtained to satisfy and shake palms with the French Primer Minister, numerous French cupboard members and 5 astronauts, together with NASA astronauts Charley Duke (who walked on the moon and commanded the lunar module on Apollo 16) and Mike Bloomfield.

They managed to get Mike Bloomfield to signal a rocket fin earlier than the launch. In addition they obtained to satisfy a load of different fascinating folks from rocketry, aerospace, the US armed forces and from the opposite groups. One other spotlight was a private tour of an Apache gunship helicopter by the US Military (I’m so glad we’re on the identical facet!).

Our launch:

Our onboard video from the launch:

Yesterday we obtained to enter the home of commons to indicate off the rocket and the staff met numerous folks together with: house scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, our member of parliament and the Minister of State for Schooling. There can’t be many individuals who’ve taken a rocket into the home of commons!

Subsequent month they’ve a VIP tour of the Airbus manufacturing unit at Stevenage. The staff has additionally been interviewed by the native BBC radio station.

Earlier than getting concerned in UKROC my son wished to do one thing technical, however he wasn’t positive what. Now he has determined he needs to do Aerospace engineering at College. Ben can be contemplating an aerospace profession. Sanjay needs to be a company lawyer, perhaps for an aerospace firm. I’m positive it has additionally obtained loads of different folks thinking about aerospace careers. So a particular end result for the sponsors. A giant thanks to everybody who makes the UKROC and Worldwide Rocketry Problem competitions occur, together with: ADS Group, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, NAR, AIA and all of the volunteers.

In case you are within the UK, USA, France or Japan, why not enter a staff in 2024? It’s a improbable approach to get children concerned in a difficult STEM venture. And in case you are trying to make use of a rocket engineer a number of years from now, drop me a line!