May 18, 2024

The Ridgeway Rocket Membership workforce of Ben Wigley, Sanjay Bala and (my son) John Brice, received the Worldwide Youth Rocketry Problem on the Paris Airshow final week. After beating 180 different UK groups at UKROC to qualify, they then beat one of the best groups from the USA, France and Japan. I sponsored and mentored the workforce this 12 months and the 12 months earlier than. The workforce positioned ninth total within the UK at their first try, final 12 months. Airbus was the principle sponsor for UKROC and their journey to Paris.

The rocket was designed and constructed from scratch by the workforce, with varied 3d printer and laser minimize parts. The highest tube is a Pringles can (sturdy, low cost and stuffed with yummy pringles)! We used a Cesseroni F Basic stable gasoline motor for the launch.

The outcomes had been scored on a mixture of flight (60%) and technical presentation (40%).

The flight mission was for the rocket to succeed in 850 toes, break up into 2 sections and land the nostril part in 42 to 45 seconds with an intact uncooked egg. The UK workforce managed 872 toes top and ~38 seconds length with an intact egg. A French policewoman by accident elbowed the rocket on the way in which to the launch, so it was a superb job they made the fins tremendous sturdy!

The UK workforce acquired a powerful 58 out of a doable 60 factors on the presentation.

I’m very happy with what the boys achieved and it was such a tremendous expertise. VIP every little thing and the workforce acquired to satisfy and shake palms with the French Primer Minister, varied French cupboard members and 5 astronauts, together with NASA astronauts Charley Duke (who walked on the moon and commanded the lunar module on Apollo 16) and Mike Bloomfield.

They managed to get Mike Bloomfield to signal a rocket fin earlier than the launch. In addition they acquired to satisfy a load of different attention-grabbing folks from rocketry, aerospace, the US armed forces and from the opposite groups. One other spotlight was a private tour of an Apache gunship helicopter by the US Military (I’m so glad we’re on the identical facet!).

Our launch:

Our onboard video from the launch:

Yesterday we acquired to enter the home of commons to indicate off the rocket and the workforce met varied folks together with: area scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, our member of parliament and the Minister of State for Schooling. There can’t be many individuals who’ve taken a rocket into the home of commons!

Subsequent month they’ve a VIP tour of the Airbus manufacturing facility at Stevenage. The workforce has additionally been interviewed by the native BBC radio station.

Earlier than getting concerned in UKROC my son needed to do one thing technical, however he wasn’t certain what. Now he has determined he desires to do Aerospace engineering at College. Ben can be contemplating an aerospace profession. Sanjay desires to be a company lawyer, possibly for an aerospace firm. I’m certain it has additionally acquired a number of different folks keen on aerospace careers. So a particular consequence for the sponsors. A giant thanks to everybody who makes the UKROC and Worldwide Rocketry Problem competitions occur, together with: ADS Group, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, NAR, AIA and all of the volunteers.

If you’re within the UK, USA, France or Japan, why not enter a workforce in 2024? It’s a implausible approach to get children concerned in a difficult STEM venture. And if you’re trying to make use of a rocket engineer just a few years from now, drop me a line!