Launches‎ > ‎2011-2012‎ > ‎August 2011‎ > ‎

Aug2011_Exective Summary

This launch was conducted by a small amount of students before the semester actually started. Launch occurred from Benge, WA. The solenoid cut down mechanism was used to release Snowflake from the Vast payload. This was a repeat of the Spring 2011 Snowflake launch. The cut down timer was not reset at launch, so cut down occurred at 28 minutes after launch instead of the expected 40 minutes after launch. Snowflake was released at a height of 35,000 feet, the highest release to date. Unfortunately, the parafoil balled up right away and failed to inflate. The little papers meant to hold tension on the toggle steering lines were not attached, and at first this was thought to be a problem. The lines did not appear to be tangled. Snowflake fell rapidly until landing, though no extensive damage occurred. After careful review, it was decided that the air density was not high enough to inflate the parafoil.

                The Vast capsule was flown with only one Microtrack. Issues arose with the main battery, and we were forced to keep one battery and Microtrack on the ground. The C&DH board did not properly record the pressure and temperature. It is expected that the battery ran out of power before the board could properly save its data.