NASA Student Launch



NU-Frontiers Rover


The NU-Frontiers team will compete in the NASA SL 2018 competition. This competition requires teams to design and build a rocket capable of launching a payload to 1 mile. After launch the payload will descend on chute. Upon landing a signal will be sent to the payload, initiating the deployment of a rover. The NU-Frontiers rover will then traverse 5+ feet and deploy solar panels. Voltage across the solar panels will be measured and sent back to the ground station along with other telemetry from the rover (GPS, X,Y,Z position, temperature, etc).

NU-Frontiers is split into 3 sub-groups: Launch Vehicle, Payload Mechanics, and Payload Electronics:

Launch Vehicle: Led by Aiden Wolfe. responsible for the design, simulation, and construction of the rocket.

Payload Mechanics: Led by Joe Conahan and Cooper Shumway. Responsible for the design and construction of the rover and rover ejection system.

Payload Electronics: Led by Karl Swanson. Responsible for the design of rover electronic components, programming, and ground station construction.

Last semester our team completed functional designs of the Launch Vehicle, Rover, and Rover Electronics, this Spring semester we will begin construction of all systems and prepare for our competition in April. The team will travel to Huntsville Alabama in Spring to compete in NASA’s national student competition.

Description taken from the NASA Student Launch website:

“The NASA Student Launch is a research-based, competitive and experiential exploration project that provides relevant and cost-effective research and development to support the Space Launch System, or SLS. The project involves reaching a broad audience of colleges and universities across the nation in an eight-month commitment to design, build, and fly payloads or vehicle components that support SLS.  Participation is limited to U.S. Institutions. Based on research needs, these payloads and components fly on high-power rockets to an altitude determined by the range safety officer and the team. Supported by the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and U.S. aerospace industry, NASA Student Launch is a NASA-conducted engineering design challenge to provide resources and experiences for students and faculty. The project is built around a NASA mission, not textbook knowledge. Research/investigation topics are conceived by the SLS Program Office in collaboration with SLS industry partners. Payloads developed by teams will address research needs of different subsystems on the SLS. The teams will share the research results, which will be used in future design and development of SLS and other projects.

After a competitive proposal selection process, teams participate in a series of design reviews that are submitted to NASA via a team-developed website. These reviews mirror the NASA engineering design lifecycle, providing an experience that prepares students for the Human Exploration and Operations workforce. Teams must complete a Preliminary Design Review, Critical Design Review, Flight Readiness Review, and Launch Readiness Review that includes a safety briefing. Teams must analyze payload and flight data during a Post Launch Assessment Review. In addition, teams must successfully complete an initial and a final Launch Readiness Review that includes a safety inspection prior to launch.

The Student Launch management team is working to transition the NASA Advanced Rocketry Workshop from face-to-face to learning-on-demand, online content delivery. It is anticipated that the online training will be available in mid-2014 to assist institutions in organizing their own rocketry programs.”