On November 26th of 2012 members of the Academic Space Launch Initiative (ASLI) conducted an initial demonstration launch of Australia’s first rocket designed specifically for carrying educational payloads into the upper atmosphere, and eventually to space. The rocket named RASTA an acronym for the Recovery And Separation systems Test Article stood over 3 meters in height with a body diameter of 15 centimeters; soared to an altitude of over 2500 meters and was recovered from a launch site in remote Queensland Australia, with the support of Queensland Advanced Rocketry Club members.
RASTA On Lift Off
The rocket designed by ASLI demonstrated developments in composite materials, electronics and manufacturing support contributed by undergraduate engineers from Adelaide and Flinders universities in South Australia, and the University of New South Wales. ASLI also provided the lead role in design and manufacture of the rockets propulsion system, which uses an explosive free and ecologically safe combination of Nitrous Oxide and a proprietary wax based fuel.
The launch is a successful display of ASLI’s model of coordinating the work of undergraduate researchers with an array of Australian industry and corporate supporters, which includes Coregas, CST Composites, NC Computer Systems and Kinetic CNC since the projects inception in 2007.
ASLI program manager Jamie Anderson said that some minor anomalies occurred in the rockets electronics system which had a negligible impact on the launch, stating that all key objectives had been met with the complete recovery of the vehicle making it possible for another launch of the rocket in 2013. The success also paves the way toward ASLIs larger rockets designed to carry student experiments beyond 10 kilometers in altitude in late 2013.
RASTA High Speed Video Ignition & Lift off
RASTA On board Camera Video