Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



LAUNCH PAD
Purdue experiment aboard Blue Origin suborbital rocket a success
by Staff Writers
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Jun 22, 2016


illustration only

An experiment by Purdue University professor Steven Collicott, Ph.D., ended with success aboard the first suborbital rocket research flight by private company Blue Origin.

Collicott, a professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the College of Engineering, is one of three scientists asked by Blue Origin to work with the private company as it tested and perfected its suborbital rocket design.

An experiment by Collicott testing the physics of liquid movement in zero-gravity situations was carried in the payload of Sunday's (June 19) rocket, which took off from a private location in Texas.

He was there to see the launch.

"I'm excited to be launching and to see the fluid physics happening in real spaceflight," Collicott said.

This payload flew on-board Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle. The suborbital rocket flew through the middle atmosphere, an altitude of 31 miles to 62 miles known as the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The New Shepard vertical takeoff and vertical landing vehicle is capable of carrying hundreds of pounds of payloads per flight and will ultimately carry six astronauts to altitudes beyond 100 kilometers, the internationally recognized boundary of space.

The experiment successfully tested details of the physics of zero-gravity wicking - the movement of liquid from one location to another inside a container. Wicking is only relevant in small lengths on Earth.

"It's a different world in zero gravity where a satellite fuel tank might be 10 feet tall and 3 feet across. Wicking is the dominant force on the liquid fuel," Collicott said. "So how do you control it or how do you know where it's going to sit? How do you move it from one place to another?

"These are topics which still require additional research even 50 years into the Space Age to aid in designing better, cheaper and more dependable space vehicles," he said.

Understanding wicking in zero gravity is important in designing systems such as life support that involves water and air.

"You either want to keep the liquid somewhere or move it somewhere," Collicott said. "You don't want your design to be indecisive, so to speak."

The experiment initially was built with National Science Foundation funding and help from the College of Engineering. Since then, undergraduate students in Collicott's Zero-Gravity Flight Experiment class at Purdue have worked on the experiment hardware.

For the experiment, diode panels illuminated a sphere inside a bolted-down box in the rocket. Mirrors and cameras were used to record liquid moving along a plastic vane, determining how big a gap between the vane and the wall of the sphere keeps the liquid in place and how small a gap causes the liquid to move along.

This payload was part of Blue Origin's Pathfinder Payloads program, demonstrating the integration and operation of scientific experiments during untended test flights of the New Shepard system to high altitudes.

With Sunday's rocket flight a success, Collicott is looking forward to the next opportunity. That could come later this year. He is working with Maggie Samudio's second-grade class at Cumberland Grade School in West Lafayette to find out if fireflies can light up in space.

"We are delighted to be working with Dr. Collicott to explore the full range of educational experiences available on New Shepard, from K-12 outreach to Ph.D.-level research," said Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin's president.

Collicott said he also has a quote for another research experiment proposal submitted to Blue Origin.

"Companies like Blue Origin who are developing this suborbital research capability in fully reusable rockets are bringing down the cost of space flight experimentation so much that all kinds of things can use space as a laboratory," Collicott said. "It's small small fraction of the cost of old-fashioned NASA and European Space Agency sounding rockets."

The experiment's results are just as important on Earth as they are in space. Collicott said the ever-increasing miniaturization of analytical systems for health care and the optimization of one type of automotive fuel cell are among the possible uses for his work.

"It's nice to know you can impact a lot of things on Earth, too," he said.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
LAUNCH PAD
McCain Stands Down: Congress Reaches Compromise on Russian Rockets
Washington DC (Sputnik) Jun 18, 2016
The Senate war over Russian rocket engines appears to be over, as lawmakers have agreed that an all-out boycott benefits no one. Debate over this year's US defense budget centered around the purchase of Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines. Designed and manufactured by NPO Energomash, the rockets are a key element of the Atlas V launch vehicles, providing a cost-effective alternative to the Delta ... read more


LAUNCH PAD
US may approve private venture moon mission: report

Fifty Years of Moon Dust

Airbus Defence and Space to guide lunar lander to the Moon

A new, water-logged history of the Moon

LAUNCH PAD
A little help from friends

CaSSIS Sends First Image of Mars

Opportunity Wraps up Work on 'Wheel Scuff'

Rover Opportunity Wrapping up Study of Martian Valley

LAUNCH PAD
Blue Origin has fourth successful rocket booster landing

TED Talks aim for wider global reach

Disney brings its brand to Shanghai with new theme park

Tech, beauty intersect in Silicon Valley

LAUNCH PAD
China to send Chang'e-4 to south pole of moon's far-side

Experts Fear Chinese Space Station Could Crash Into Earth

Bolivia to pay back loan to China for Tupac Katari satellite

China plans 5 new space science satellites

LAUNCH PAD
NASA Ignites Fire Experiment Aboard Space Cargo Ship

A Burial Plot for the International Space Station

Three astronauts touch down after 6 months in space

Cygnus spacecraft begins next phase of OA-6 mission

LAUNCH PAD
McCain Stands Down: Congress Reaches Compromise on Russian Rockets

SpaceX launches satellites but fails to recover rocket

Arianespace makes history on its latest Ariane 5 mission

NZ gears up for the global space economy

LAUNCH PAD
Largest crowdsource astronomy network helps confirm discovery of 'Tatooine' planet

San Francisco State University astronomer helps discover giant planet orbiting 2 suns

Unexpected excess of giant planets in star cluster

Largest, Widest Orbit "Tatooine" Bolsters Planet Formation Theories

LAUNCH PAD
Fighting virtual reality sickness

Ubisoft to let game players join 'Star Trek' crew

Underlying connection found between diverse materials with extreme magnetoresistance

Video game makers finding their way in virtual worlds




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement