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Flight test of a student rocket FOK

Photo of the members of the Students' Space Association with the FOK rocket

At the beginning of July on the Błędowska Desert, the first in Poland student guided rocket FOK was tested in flight. Its creators are members of the SKA Student Space Association from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering.

– We have been preparing for the launch for quite a long time. Work on on-board computers, engine and the body required the involvement of many members of our Association – says Kacper Kaczmarek, FOK project coordinator. – Everyone worked hard day and night long for the flight tests to be successful. We tested the durability of the body to given pressure or the electronics module to make sure that the flight tests can be conducted safely. This required many hours spent in the workshop of our Association but seeing FOK up in the air made up for every effort – he adds.

Photo of the FOK rocket during take-off

The flight of the rocket aimed at testing the upgrades made to the previous version of the rocket. Thanks to the modifications made by the SKA mechanics, all components of the construction were efficiently integrated. The engine started without problems, accelerating the rocket to over 700 km/h. 

Unfortunately, due the recuperation system failure, the parachute did not open – the rocket had a ballistic flight. Luckily, the test was conducted safely despite the complications, and all that happened thanks to analyses conducted beforehand, which allowed to choose an optimal place and location of the launcher and helped to identify potential places where the rocket could fall.

Though the fall of the FOK rocket was not a delicate one, electronics specialists from the Student Space Association managed to recover data from the on-board computer. Thanks to this, the students received a lot of information which will be analysed now for many weeks and will help in further development of the rocket.

Photo of members of the Students' Space Association watching the flight of the FOK rocket

A milestone in project development is creation of a head capable of image recognition, among others thanks to artificial intelligence. Work on the head is done within the programme of the Ministry of Education and Science ”Student research groups shape innovation”.

Photo of members of the Students' Space Association

– Tests have given us motivation and energy to plan further rocket launches – stresses Kacper Kaczmarek.