At first glance, the recovery team’s task sounds simple: Make sure that the rocket comes down in one piece in a safe and controlled way. But it’s easier said than done. What’s the best way to separate the nosecone? Is it possible to stage the descent by adding a drogue chute? Which diameter should the chutes have? And how does one deploy a parachute in the first place?
These are just a few of the many challenges the recovery team has to handle. Their job is to develop a fully redundant system that excels even in the harsh conditions of a rocket launch. To fulfill this task, they have to apply careful calculations and clever thinking to make difficult decisions. Adding a second drogue adds weight and complexity, but also redundancy. Using pyrotechnics to separate the stages is an option, but once you used them once for testing, you can’t use them again. Increasing the diameter of the parachute will result in a smaller touchdown velocity, decreasing the probability of damage during touchdown, but also adds more weight to the system.
All eyes on EuRoC! We are currently developing a double redundant, pyrotech-free recovery system that will ensure a successful recovery of our rocket and our payload. This system will be test flown soon for the first time so we can get valuable in-flight experience that will help us to improve the recovery system even further, enabling us to participate at EuRoC in 2024.
Want to join?
As you can see, the recovery team needs quite a lot of thinkers and doers to make sure we get the job done. Got interested in joining us? Feel free to leave a message at our Discord server or apply directly via the membership section of this website. We look forward to hear from you!