Author - Elliot Robinson
Last October, five senior Bath rocket team (BRT) members and I attended the European Rocketry Competition (EuRoC) in Portugal. At 5:59pm local time on Thursday 21 October, we successfully launched and flew our rocket to a height of 2618m. The vehicle was recovered without sustaining major damage, a first for the university. Some minor damage was sustained due to our main parachute only partially inflating; however, much of the effect was negated by our reserve parachute system which deployed successfully.
Overcoming the odds for a top seven finish
35 teams applied to the competition, of which 20 were selected. One team withdrew prior to the competition leaving 19 teams. Four teams failed to pass their pre-launch flight readiness reviews therefore leaving 15 teams which flew. Eight of these teams suffered total losses of their rockets leaving only seven teams who recovered successfully. Of course, BRT fell in this final category.
To come within the top seven really is a great achievement for us at Bath considering we only had six members. In contrast, the next smallest team had over 20 members and most teams had in the order of 50 – 100 members. Furthermore, our budget was far more limited than other teams. For example, the two Swiss teams had budgets of 400k euros and 250k euros respectively, compared to our ~ £8k spend (the team with 400k suffered a total loss). Finally, there were three other British teams in the competition: Cranfield University, Edinburgh University, and Imperial. Neither Cranfield nor Edinburgh passed their flight readiness reviews on time and Imperial’s rocket was a total loss, therefore leaving Bath as the only successful British team in the competition.