Mid-April, the NWIC Space Center sent two teams to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to compete in the First Nations Launch (FNL) High-Powered Rocket Competition, an annual competition hosted by NASA’s Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. There were two divisions in which the College competed: the Tribal division and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) division. There were 12 students, 3 mentors, 2 toddlers and 1 infant that composed the Northwest Indian College Space Center’s two rocket teams; four separate tribes were represented as were multiple programs of study. Each team had spent roughly six months preparing for the national competition.
Mikale, Allen, Tamara, Melvin, Christian, Matilda
NWIC—AISES 1st Place
The AISES division team was challenged to design and launch a high-power rocket that had an Active Drag System (ADS). The NWIC AISES team designed an airbrake sytem that was created with the on-campus Computer Numeric Control (CNC) mill and with plywood that was shaped with the on-campus laser cutter. The team first flew the rocket with the brakes off, then they flew again with the brake system on with the goal of stopping the rocket at 75% of its initial range. The team came close to that threshold by flying it 62% of its initial range. The NWIC team was the only team successful in creating a working ADS.
Designed and constructed by the NWIC—AISES team
Kiaya, Lavine, Raven, Lisa, Renae, Mariah
NWIC—Tribal 1st Place
The Tribal division team was challenged to design and launch a dual deployment high-power rocket designed and constructed to maintain a stable flight (with a minimum (0) “X” Roll Axis, “Y” Pitch Axis and “Z” Yaw Axis). The X Roll Axis was the focus in determining the rocket’s stability. In their best performing launch, the teams’ rocket rolled at 67 rpm during travel.
Pre-retrival: rocket lands in water
Designed and constructed by the NWIC—Tribal team
Each team was judged in the following categories: written design reports, flight readiness oral presentation, readiness review, flight performance data, and a written post-flight performance report. Both teams took home first place! By doing so, the teams earned a total of $15,000 to help defray the cost of the next NASA rocket competition, the University Student Launch Initiative, plus an invite to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and a total of $6,000 to help cover associated travel costs.
For full competition details, please see: 2017 FNL Writeup