July 2020 Updates

Farewell and Achievements - James McKevitt, Outgoing Chair

So, my time at Loughborough Space is finally coming to an end!

I hoped the moment would never come but here it is! The society has changed a lot since I joined, and this has been solely because of the energy and enthusiasm of all the members we havehad so far. We’re pushing the boundaries of what I ever expected the society to be capable of, and now what the university expects of us – a perfect testament to how distinguished the society has become from the LSU, its other societies, and the other space societies in the UK.

With the launching of our new website representing a much wider professional revolution we’re going through, I can assure any members in Loughborough next year that it will continue to be a successful and active society, with lots to get involved with adding to both your professional and personal lives!

The society has changed a lot since I joined, and in leaving it to such an active and capable committee, I know it will be changing a lot more in the coming years!

I wish them the best of luck and hope the society can be the focal point of many of your university careers, as it has been for mine.


Project Updates - Thomas McDougall, Projects Lead

Team Honey Badgers have submitted their entry to the UKSEDS National Rocketry Competition. Our rocket, “The Big Oof”, is a lightweight, composite rocket designed to achieve the maximum possible altitude with the competition regulation motors. When launched, the rocket will rapidly accelerate up to half the speed of sound and coast to a maximum altitude of 850m, at which point an ejection charge will deploy the parachute for safe return and recovery. Meanwhile, the rocket will take altitude readings and will stream live video footage back to the ground.

Over the last year we have consistently iterated and improved the design to ensure that our rocket lives up to its name. It features efficient, elliptical fins which are integrated into the motor mount to improve structural strength; a lightweight cardboard fuselage reinforced with carbon fiber stringers and an epoxy resin; and an advanced 3d-printed nose cone capable of protecting the payload from a 40mph impact, and capable of supporting the weight of two intrepid Honey Badgers without breaking.

We are currently awaiting the competition results but are confident that The Big Oof will prove to be the biggest oof of them all. Shoutout to Aryan Gangurde for his electronics work, James McKevitt for his fluid mechanics expertise, and Tom Dixon for his excellent CAD, rendering and design work.

Project Chimera Update - Shayne Beegadhur, Chair

Over the past year, we have upgraded mechanical and electrical aspects of the Chimera Mk1 engine. We have improved the production quality of mechanical systems and reliability of the communication network. It took a lot of late nights and hard work, but the team pulled together to produce the Chimera Mk1.1 engine. With an increased number of small-scale tests, we expected the engine to perform as expected. However, an ignition failure forced us to go back to the drawing board a come up with a new solution. With a new ignition system, we were ready to go but unfortunately, the world went into lockdown.

Since then, we have begun designing the Chimera Mk2 engine which will hopefully be our first flight-ready engine. Already, we are taking the necessary action to achieve this by working to establish sponsorships for Loughborough Space. Companies will provide valuable goods and services to improve the experience of all members with Loughborough Space. However, their most notable contributions will be towards our projects and this is how we can ensure sustainable growth.

By partnering with industry, we will ensure that Project Chimera can continue at an even greater pace than before.

Conex Research Launch - Jack Kent, Vice Chair

Our newest area of focus is in space-related research, and this is being done through Conex Research, a research division created to enable collaboration between our members, alumni, and academics from around the world. We run flexible, open-ended projects and challenges to work on new ideas related to space and exploration. These projects are not exclusive to STEM students, but are open to all fields and levels, as we find everyone has something to add and encourage participants to contribute according to their interests and skills.

Since just launching in April the team has grown significantly to now have members from 5 continents, each with a different background and academic interests. We are still growing, and are looking forward to welcoming new Loughborough Space members to the Conex Research team later this year, to further diversify our team and their talents.

Arcanum is our first mission proposal, designed to send a spacecraft into an orbit around Neptune to locate the elusive Planet 9. Furthermore, the spacecraft will drop a probe on Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, to gather more data about the mechanisms that govern the moon’s geological features.

We have also started inviting guest speakers from a range of different backgrounds to join our meetings, giving us access to not only expert knowledge to aid our own research, but also an insight into the cutting edge research happening right now at institutions around the globe.

A massive thanks to Christina and James, our outgoing committee members who will now take the lead over at Conex, and have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into getting it off the ground.

Follow along with the research team on Twitter, or find out more information as well as how to get involved on the website.

Lecture Series Past and Future - Josh Harper, Activities Lead

Loughborough Space is for everyone!

So, to ensure everyone can get involved with as many facets of Loughborough Space, we will be increasing the number of lectures in our lecture series. But in the interest of safety, we will be hosting all lectures online until further notice. Aside from the obvious benefits, these lectures will be recorded and made available to all members for viewing as and when is convenient to you.

Upcoming Freshers Events - Jaya Basra, Social Media Lead

We have a range of fresher’s events on the way. We will be advertising these to you soon. Some may be through halls so please look out for these.

Whether you are into rocketry, astronomy, space in pop culture, or current affairs there will be something here for you and will be platforms for you to meet new people and socialise.

Events will be open for non-freshers too. If you chose to become a member you can look forward to many other socials throughout this next academic year.

Plans for the Next Year - Shayne Beegadhur, Chair

Loughborough Space has made so many positive changes over the course of the past academic year. From the creation of the society website to the successful running of the lecture series, I cannot thank the previous committee enough for their hard work.

Now, it is up to us to build upon the shoulders of giants who came before us. We want Loughborough Space to grow into an organisation that is recognised by not only the University but also the wider community and with your support, we can make that possible. The first step is this newsletter, which we hope this will be the first of many monthly updates so more of our members are aware of what goes on at Loughborough Space.

So, stay tuned and watch this space because we are dedicated to making Loughborough Space a place for everyone.