Rockets are able to fill the human curiosity to see how far we can get, and show us the beauty of the cosmos and of how nature works."
Even before the graduation of the first students of aerospace engineers, the Universidade Federal do ABC already had, in the end of 2009, a rocketry division founded by three classmates through a social network. At the time, they proposed the creation of the rocketry division to the president of the Aerodesign team and, then, the Rocketry Group was created. Later, the group was renamed as UFABC Rocket Design. Together, the Aerodesign team and the rocketry group formed the Aerospace Group for Research and Development (GPDA).
In the beginning of 2010, the group developed and successfully tested three rocket engines in a static workbench. New students were recruited to begin the first mission: Liberty. The mission objectives were to transfer knowledge about solid rocket engines to the new members and to certify aerospace products.
The Liberty mission was finished in august of 2010. Short after, the team started the development of the Boitatá I, a J-class rocket (total impulse between 144 and 288 lbf.s). The goal of the Boitatá I rocket was to achieve an apogee of three thousand feet. Unhappy, few project problems happened delaying the launch. However, in july of 2013, the rocket was successfully launched becoming the first experimental rocket of the Federal of ABC.
It did not take very long for the development of the successor of the Boitatá I rocket. The new rocket, called Boitatá II, was an improved version that sought to improve technology of the first project. New problems occurred during this project delayed the launch, but the rocket engine was static fired in the First Festival of Rockets of Curitiba, organized by the Parana Federal University.
By the end of 2014, a new group of students joined to the rocketry team. A new mission was planned to launch an A-class rocket (total impulse between 0.281 and 0.56 lbf.s) and an E-class rocket (total impulse between 4.51 and 8.99 lbf.s) in the second version of the festival already mentioned before. The A-class rocket was called Aimoré and was 3D printed. The E-class rocket was called Eirapuã and the structure was developed using carbon fiber composites.
With their avionic systems and the propellant – potassium nitrate and sucrose – prepared together with professors and technicians of the university, both rockets succeeded in their launches. The Eirapuã rocket was awarded the first place in the category during the second edition of the Curitiba Festival of Rockets, in april of 2015.
In the same year, the Boitatá mission was reactivated. The rocket had been tested before and that is why it was chosen to be a test-bed for the new avionics and recovery systems. The launch of the Boitatá X mission occurred few months ago. The rocket achieved a speed of 400 mph during its way to an apogee of one thousand feet.
Together with the Boitatá Rocket, the team has been receiving help from a new group of students to develop two new E-class rockets (Eirapuãs II A and B) for the third edition of the Curitiba Festival of Rockets. The rockets are being tested to be launched in april of 2016.
The year of 2015 also brought the Brazilian Intercollegiate Rocket Competition (COBRUF). The competition, developed by UFABC-students, had massive participation of all universities with aerospace engineer programs. In its first edition, the competition occurred in December with the launch of a standard rocket developed by the most experienced rocketry groups and replicated by less experienced groups.
Recently, a new project in partnership with the Astroem (university project) started. The project has the goal to tutor second-grade students of the EE João Paulo II school, with the production of rockets using PET-bottles. In order to get financially help, the group created a funding campaign on the internet.
Nowadays, the UFABC Rocket Design has students from different undergraduation couses and the Faculty Advisor, Marina Sparvoli de Medeiros, is helping the group with bureaucratic work together with the university. The collaborators, including Marina, are essential for the group in order to achieve the dream to launch a rocket in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. Thanks to everyone that is working hard and dreaming beyond of the one thousand meters.
Team foundation and beginning of the Liberty project.
End of the Liberty project and resulting beginning of the project Boitatá I.
Launch of Boitatá I, our frist complete rocket, on the Centro de Estudos do Universo (Universe Studies Center), CEU, in Brotas / SP - Brazil.
Beginning of Boitatá II project, in an attempt to improve its predecessor.
Discontinuation of Boitatá II project, with presentation of the static test from your engine in the I Festival de Minifoguetes de Curitiba (1st Small Rockets Festival of Curitiba).
Beginning of Curitiba mission, with the creation of Aimoré and Eirapuã projects, aiming to join the II Festival de Minifoguetes de Curitiba (2nd Small Rockets Festival of Curitiba).
Launch of Aimoré and Eirapuã rockets on II Festival de Minifoguetes de Curitiba (2nd Small Rockets Festival of Curitiba), having Eirapuã been reached the first place in its category.
Beginning of Eirapuã II project, with the construction of two new rockets to participate of III Festival de Minifoguetes de Curitiba (3rd Small Rockets Festival of Curitiba).
Resumption of Boitatá project to test new avionics and recovery systems.
Launch of Boitatá X on the Centro de Estudos do Universo (Universe Studies Center), CEU.