Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University has a payload bound for space. This is a first in APSU’s 92-year history.
Austin Peay State University physics professor Dr. Justin Oelgoetz made the announcement on Facebook Tuesday: “APSU’s first payload bound for space just passed inspection and has been integrated into the rocket’s payload stack.”
Oelgoetz and two APSU physics students – Zach Hill and Zach Givens – built the predesigned payload during Rocket Week at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Later this week, they’ll fly the experiment on a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket to space.
The launch is scheduled for 4:30am CDT Thursday. The launch will be streamed at www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-tv-wallops. Coverage begins at 4:00am CDT.
“We hope and intend this workshop to be the beginning of an Austin Peay space ‘program,’ not a degree but a fountain of student projects and opportunities,” Oelgoetz said.
Launch Part of ‘Rockon!’ Workshop
The rocket will carry 28 student experiments – including Austin Peay State University’s – to nearly 73 miles altitude. The experiments will land via parachute in the Atlantic Ocean where teams will recover them. The students will begin data analysis later that day.
Oelgoetz, Hill and Givens’ experiment is like the others, measuring acceleration, humidity, pressure, temperature and radiation.
According to a NASA news release, after students learn the basics in RockOn!, they can participate in RockSat-C, where during the school year, they design and build a more complicated experiment for rocket flight.
“The idea is to learn so we can design our own payloads in future years,” Oelgoetz said.
The rocket also will carry nine RockSat-C experiments and more than 80 small cubes with experiments developed by middle and high school students.
RockOn! is supported by the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia, NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement and NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.
Austin Peay State University’s trip is supported by the Tennessee NASA Space Grant Consortium, of which APSU is a member.
If any problems happen prior to the launch, officials will delay it until later in the morning or until Friday.
To Learn More
- For more about Rocket Week and the launch, go to www.nasa.gov/feature/wallops/2019/students-boosting-technical-skills-at-nasa-wallops-rocket-week.
- For more about RockOn! 2019, visit https://spacegrant.colorado.edu/rockon-home/rockon-2019-home.
- For more about the APSU Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy, go to www.apsu.edu/physics.