IREC 2015 – Carbon Cougar
10 members of the WSU Aerospace Club were able to attend the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) in Green River, Utah June 24-28. We started with a safety briefing on Wednesday morning bright and early and then had our poster and rocket reviewed by two judges. That same day, we learned a ton about competition, what other universities had built, and new innovations in rockets building. Thursday morning at 10am was launch day for WSU, and we were ready. We arrived at the launch site around 6am and began to set up tents and the last of the launch rail. Then the final components of the rocket including the ejection charges, motor propellant, and parachutes were inserted. We finished prepping well before our launch time and ended up helping other universities set up their tents and helping the coordinators getting ready for a day of launches. Also, due to the fact that we had almost a whole club room worth of tools in our tent, we were able to help teams from Canada, who had rocket components confiscated at the border, finish building the missing parts of their rocket. Around 11am, we were able to launch after delays in the competition. After carefully placing Go Pros around the launch pad, mounting the rocket, and inserting the igniter, we were ready to launch. Our rocket had a near perfect flight consisting of a fairly vertical flight, a drogue chute deployment at apogee, and another main parachute at 1,000 feet. The excitement of our rocket deploying all of its systems right on time was amazing, as many other teams were not as fortunate. Lastly, when we recovered our rocket, which was about .5 miles from the launch pad, it had landed perfectly in the sand with one chute in a bush. Couldn’t ask for anything better. The rocket was in near perfect condition and had only a small burn on the drogue chute, and 2 lines broken on the main. After listening to the altimeters, the rocket had reached 8,155 feet AGL(just 1,845 feet below our target). Also, due to the extreme heat, 107°F, all of our Go Pros shut down before the rocket was able to launch. All in all, an awesome performance by the Carbon Cougar for the first ever competition launch with the WSU Aerospace Club!