• Angelica Luquin

New Launch. New Begginings.

#pinkrocketproject #csulb #beachlaunchteam

It has been a long wait for the B1C rocket. It sits as the third generation of this rocket model for the club and it is the second rocket the Beach Launch Team decides to paint in pink to show support to women in STEM. This rocket comes with multiple changes in design for a faster and more efficient flight. Keeping in mind it took a span of 8 months to design, build, and test this rocket, which will be launched on January 18!

For this rocket I got the chance to interview Jordan Mendez and Brandon Pizarro who are two leads for this rocket. Jordan is the co-lead for the avionics subsystem and Brandon is the lead for operations. The interview below shows the importance the launch is to them as well as their passion for rocketry.

Brandon Pizarro: Operations Lead

Question: This is your first rocket you are a lead for, and the launch is on Sunday. How are your feelings about the launch?

Brandon: I am feeling excited, nervous, anxious, and excited! As Operations Lead, it is my job to make sure that the rocket is fully tested and is launched as smooth as possible. The team has gone a long way and we have all learned a lot. I am confident in the knowledge of my team. After Sunday, my team and I will be able to say that we have successfully launched a Rocket.

Question: What goals are you hoping to reach this launch?

Brandon: The main goal is to have the first student made liquid propelled rocket to reach 30k feet. The team has done a lot of research and development. This rocket is the test bed for many new techniques and technology we have put into it. This launch will give us the data and experience needed to one day be able to send a rocket to space.

Question: What improvements have you made to the Operations of this rocket?

Brandon: Fortunately, I haven't had to make many changes for Operations, the experience and the training of the team have made the improvements for me. I am glad to have the trust and confidence of my team to let me make the choices and decisions about rocket when at the launch site.

Question: What are you most proud of for this rocket?

Brandon: I am proud of the improvements the team has made over the development of this rocket. We have gained an insane amount of knowledge and have put it to use in the making of this rocket. This rocket is the final product of the team's hard work.

Jordan Mendez: co - Avionics Lead

Question: This is your second rocket you are led in and the launch is on Sunday. How are you feeling about the launch?

Jordan: I am confident in the team! I am also happy to have a co - lead, she picks up on my weaknesses. I enjoy the support with my team especially the new members like Janine. I can do more management and kick back a little which also gives me less stress! The last launches were tough because I was the only person who knew about the avionics sub-section, but now we can manage our time better!

Question: What goals are you hoping to reach this launch?

Jordan: for this launch we are experimenting with new technology which is cool. We are testing different metrics and measurements such as chamber pressure. Before we could only make assumptions of what the actual numbers were during launch but now, we will get live stream data!

Question: What improvements have you made to the avionics subsystem of this rocket?

Jordan: Ultimately what we want to be able to do is to have some measurement of control for the rocket. Being able to transmit that data to our pad and control system is the main goal. Establishing two - communication is what we are aiming for. Currently we only have one - way communication with the rocket but soon we want to be able to talk with it which can save potentially high - risk launches. We also have better connections and better data acquisition scheme. Also, a better team overall.

Question: What are you most proud of for this rocket?

Jordan: My team, easily.

Question: How is this rocket going to help for future projects of the club?

Jordan: If it launches it will set great lengths for the avionics system. When I first joined computer, science was not a section, I am the first person with this major to join. I take inspiration from the Apollo missions where they were able to develop technology when computer science was still being developed. That mentality and ambition is what I want to bring to the club. Together making a better rocket. When I graduate, I would like amateur rocket clubs in college to be a routine not a rarity. I want people like my young niece to know nothing is impossible.

After closing the interviews I realized what this rocket means to its members. Its almost part of the family. And just like any loving, supporting family you alwasy want the best for each other. All good wish and luck to the team as they get ready to set new milestones!!

P.S. the photo shows our Structures Lead Jessie Flanders!

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