Time and again, Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) has hit the headlines with their ground breaking performances and contributions in the fields of science and technology and this time it’s the same again but only with a new player in the team. MIT, Manipal’s team of rocketry, ThrustMIT has come out with flying colours as they made a debut at the Spaceport America Cup 2018, the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering meet which was held in New Mexico from June 19-23. Only two colleges from India managed to take part in this great arena, MIT being one of them.
ThrustMIT had its inception in early 2016 with a crew of rocket enthusiasts. Every year the team aims to compete in the Spaceport America Cup and to fulfill its aim to shoot for the stars, it has designed Rocket Vyom and the Lapwing rocket series. Rocket Vyom the first full size, ever sounding rocket with a height of 8.5 feet and weight 26 kgs, was unveiled on May 5, 2018 and was first launched during the competition this year. Vyom derived its name from the Sanskrit word Vyoman which means the atmosphere or the sky. It has a commercial off shelf engine while the Lapwing series are smaller and the engine is self-designed
As informed by Surya Nittur, the team manager and final year student, the jury was impressed with the unique recovery system of Vyom although it managed to reach only 4000 ft. He went on to add that the ‘reefed parachute system’ was employed for recovery comprising of a single parachute, unlike most of the rockets which use two, where the parachute unfolds slightly and deploys completely at the maximum altitude of 1500 ft above ground level.
“The team has already started working on the rocket for next year’s competition. In the coming years we’d like to take part in higher categories at the Spaceport America Cup”, said Nittur when asked about the future endeavours of ThrustMIT.
A moment of pride for the entire nation especially the Manipalites. Kudos to the entire crew.