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Rocket Launch with Families
30 January, 2024  |  Read Time: 3 minutes  |  Education

They Came, They Learned, They Launched! The BinarX 2024 School Holiday Program

The inaugural run of the BinarX School Holiday Program was a resounding success with participants, families, and the Curtin University community, with a fabulous rocket launch event on the grounds of Curtin University capping off the 10-day intensive program.

Mentored by members of the Binar Space Program and the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University, the BinarX Summer Holiday Program is based directly on the BinarX Student Payload Development Program. Featuring the payload development kit PCBs and protoboards customised by our very own Dr. Robert Howie to fit inside model rockets instead of a Binar 1U Cubesat!

We wanted to create a realistic challenge to show the pathway from conceptualising, designing, building, testing AND launching student’s own missions… all within 2 weeks and all done by the students! This is making space in service of others – what Binar is all about – and we can’t wait to do more.

We welcomed 14 teenagers from 8 different WA high schools, several of which represented schools who will be joining us for the BinarX Student Payload Development Program 2024-2026, which kicks off in March! See more about that here.

The skills and understanding of the payload design and development processes that the participants developed during the BinarX Summer Holiday Program will provide not only a strong foundation for their participation in the BinarX Payload Development Program, but also allowed them to explore all aspects of a spacecraft payload engineering project. Through the mentorship of the Binar Space Program, SSTC, and industry, participants were connected with a direct line-of-sight to graduate, post-graduate, and industry career pathways.

During the 10-day program, participants:

  • Learned the fundamentals of hardware and software design
  • Learned about remote sensors and their applications
  • Designed circuits and wrote software to control their sensor payloads and manipulate sensor data, which they prototyped on breadboards
  • Transferred these prototypes onto soldered protoboards
  • Conducted space environment and launch simulation testing of their payloads on the same vibration and thermal vacuum equipment that is used to qualify the Binar 1U Spacecraft flight models
  • Used 3D CAD modelling to design and 3D print their own custom nose cones for their rocket, which they then built and decorated
  • Designed team branding and custom-made t-shirts by hand or using a desktop CNC vinyl plotter
  • Modelled their rocket trajectories using OpenRocket
  • Launched their own rockets at an event attended by family, friends, and all the lovely humans of Curtin University and the Binar Space Program who contributed to the program!
  • Processed and visualised their flight data
  • Created team posters and gave a presentation to their families and peers to share their team journeys and results of all their hard work

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