Hybrid Project

MASA has built from scratch and flown twice its own hybrid rocket engine. Hybrid engines are known for their safety and are used in industry by companies like Virgin Galactic and Sierra Nevada Corporation. The engine used at IREC 2016, named Alpha Centauri, was MASA's first non-commercial engine which utilized a liquid nitrous oxide (N2O) oxidizer and a paraffin wax fuel grain. The success of Alpha Centauri made MASA one of the first student rocket teams to successfully design, build and operate a hybrid engine. For IREC 2017, MASA built Gamma Centauri, an upscaled and improved version of Alpha Centauri designed to provide the impulse to reach an apogee of 30,000 ft. Below you can see the hot fire test used to qualify Gamma Centauri for IREC 2017.

MASA's Rockets

Take a look at some of MASA's past rockets.

Tortas 8

Tortas 8 was launched at the inaugural Spaceport America Cup competition, which served as IREC 2017. It took 1st in the 30,000 ft Student Researched and Developed (SRAD) Hybrid/Liquid category, and was awarded the Genesis Cup (overall winner/judges choice).

  • Engine: Gamma Centauri (O-class student-built hybrid)
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 13.8 ft
  • Diameter: 6.45 in
  • Name: Not the successor to a rocket named Tortas 7, Tortas 8 has a name similar to a local Ann Arbor restaurant the team often ate at after static fire tests.




The Great Emancipator

TGE was MASA's second rocket entered into the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition's (IREC) Advanced Category, where it placed 2nd. It was the first flight of the hybrid motor.

  • Engine: Alpha Centauri (O-class student-built hybrid)
  • Airframe Material: Fiberglass
  • Height: 14.8 ft
  • Diameter: 6.75 in
  • Name: In continuing with MASA's tradition of presidential nicknames, this rocket was named after President Abraham Lincoln.







Croissandwich

Croissandwich was MASA's first rocket entered into the IREC Advanced Category. It was designed to reach 23,000 ft, where it would release a payload.

  • Engine: O-Class
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 8 ft
  • Diameter: 6.5 in
  • Name: Croissandwich was originally going to house a hybrid motor, so its name is a hybrid between croissant and sandwich.






10¢ Jim

10¢ Jim was a basic category rocket that competed in IREC. It was designed to reach 10,000 ft, where it would release a payload.

  • Engine: M-Class
  • Airframe Material: Aluminum
  • Height: 12 ft
  • Diameter: 4 in
  • Name: 10¢ Jim was the nickname given to everyone's favorite president, James Buchanan.






Young Hickory

Young Hickory was an IREC basic category rocket. It was designed to reach 10,000 ft, where it would release a payload.

  • Engine: N-Class
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 10.76 ft
  • Diameter: 5.35 in
  • Name: Young Hickory was named after everyone's other favorite president, James K. Polk.






Helios

Helios was an IREC basic category rocket. It was designed to reach 10,000 ft, where it would then release its glider payload.

  • Engine: M-Class
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 12.66 ft
  • Diameter: 6 in
  • Name: Helios was the greek Titan of the sun.







Bojangles

Bojangles was a rocket for the University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) that was designed to reach 5,280 ft. It had drag flaps on the sides to ensure that it reached its target altitude.

  • Engine: L-Class
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 8.6 ft
  • Diameter: 5.5 in
  • Name: Besides being a fun name to say, Bojangles is a southern fast food chain.






Falcon 9 v1.1

The Falcon 9 v1.1 was an IREC advanced category rocket. It was designed to reach 26,000 mi and release its payload into geosynchronous orbit.

  • Engine: Merlin 1D (9 for first stage, 1 for the second)
  • Airframe Material: Aluminum
  • Height: 224 ft
  • Diameter: 12 ft
  • Name: The Falcon 9 v1.1 was named after its successful but less powerful brother, the Falcon 9.






Maverick

Project Maverick took part in the Michigan Aerospace Challenge where the rocket was used as a demonstration flight for local schools. The rocket carried a CANSAT from the Student Space Systems Fabrication Lab.

  • Engine: L-Class
  • Airframe Material: Fiberglass/Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 8.5 ft
  • Diameter: 4 in
  • Name: A maverick is someone who thrives on being independent and unorthodox, just like this rocket.






Hy-Flights

MASA intended to reach 10,000 ft and Mach 1 with Hy-Flights.

  • Engine: K-Class
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 6 ft
  • Diameter: 2 in
  • Name: The name Hy-Flights comes from the fact that this was one of MASA's first rockets to try and reach an altitude of 10,000 ft.







Hybrid I

Hybrid I was MASA's first attempt at using a commercial hybrid motor.

  • Engine: J-Class
  • Airframe Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Height: 7 ft
  • Diameter: 4 in
  • Name: Hybrid I got its name for being MASA's first hybrid rocket.